Predictive top-down integration of prior knowledge during speech perception

Sohoglu, Ediz, Peelle, Jonathan E, Carlyon, Robert P and Davis, Matthew H (2012) Predictive top-down integration of prior knowledge during speech perception. Journal of Neuroscience, 32 (25). pp. 8443-8453. ISSN 0270-6474

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (3MB)


A striking feature of human perception is that our subjective experience depends not only on sensory information from the environment but also on our prior knowledge or expectations. The precise mechanisms by which sensory information and prior knowledge are integrated remain unclear, with longstanding disagreement concerning whether integration is strictly feedforward or whether higherlevel knowledge influences sensory processing through feedback connections. Here we used concurrent EEG and MEG recordings to determine how sensoryinformation and prior knowledge areintegratedinthe brain during speech perception.Wemanipulated listeners’
prior knowledge of speech content by presenting matching, mismatching, or neutral written text before a degraded (noise-vocoded) spoken word. When speech conformed to prior knowledge, subjective perceptual clarity was enhanced. This enhancement in clarity was associated with a spatiotemporal profile of brain activity uniquely consistent with afeedback process: activity inthe inferiorfrontal gyrus was modulated by prior knowledge before activity in lower-level sensory regions of the superior temporal gyrus. In parallel, we parametrically variedthe level of speech degradation, andthereforethe amount of sensory detail, sothat changes in neural responses attributable to sensory information and prior knowledge could be directly compared. Although sensory detail and prior knowledge both enhanced speech clarity, they had an opposite influence on the evoked response in the superior temporal gyrus. We argue that these data are best explained within the framework of predictive coding in which sensory activity is compared with top-down predictions and only unexplained activity propagated through the cortical hierarchy.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2019 13:17
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2019 13:17

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update