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The gamma response to colour hue in humans: evidence from MEG

Perry, Gavin, Taylor, Nathan W., Bothwell, Philippa C. H., Milbourn, Colette C., Powell, Georgina and Singh, Krish D. 2020. The gamma response to colour hue in humans: evidence from MEG. PLoS ONE 15 (12) , e0243237. 10.1371/journal.pone.0243237

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Abstract

It has recently been demonstrated through invasive electrophysiology that visual stimulation with extended patches of uniform colour generates pronounced gamma oscillations in the visual cortex of both macaques and humans. In this study we sought to discover if this oscillatory response to colour can be measured non-invasively in humans using magnetoencephalography. We were able to demonstrate increased gamma (40–70 Hz) power in response to full-screen stimulation with four different colour hues and found that the gamma response is particularly strong for long wavelength (i.e. red) stimulation, as was found in previous studies. However, we also found that gamma power in response to colour was generally weaker than the response to an identically sized luminance-defined grating. We also observed two additional responses in the gamma frequency: a lower frequency response around 25–35 Hz that showed fewer clear differences between conditions than the gamma response, and a higher frequency response around 70–100 Hz that was present for red stimulation but not for other colours. In a second experiment we sought to test whether differences in the gamma response between colour hues could be explained by their chromatic separation from the preceding display. We presented stimuli that alternated between each of the three pairings of the three primary colours (red, green, blue) at two levels of chromatic separation defined in the CIELUV colour space. We observed that the gamma response was significantly greater to high relative to low chromatic separation, but that at each level of separation the response was greater for both red-blue and red-green than for blue-green stimulation. Our findings suggest that the stronger gamma response to red stimulation cannot be wholly explained by the chromatic separation of the stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 17 November 2020
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2020 14:34
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/136893

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