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Converging intracranial markers of conscious access.

Abstract : We compared conscious and nonconscious processing of briefly flashed words using a visual masking procedure while recording intracranial electroencephalogram (iEEG) in ten patients. Nonconscious processing of masked words was observed in multiple cortical areas, mostly within an early time window (<300 ms), accompanied by induced gamma-band activity, but without coherent long-distance neural activity, suggesting a quickly dissipating feedforward wave. In contrast, conscious processing of unmasked words was characterized by the convergence of four distinct neurophysiological markers: sustained voltage changes, particularly in prefrontal cortex, large increases in spectral power in the gamma band, increases in long-distance phase synchrony in the beta range, and increases in long-range Granger causality. We argue that all of those measures provide distinct windows into the same distributed state of conscious processing. These results have a direct impact on current theoretical discussions concerning the neural correlates of conscious access.
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Raphaël Gaillard, Stanislas Dehaene, Claude Adam, Stéphane Clémenceau, Dominique Hasboun, et al.. Converging intracranial markers of conscious access.. PLoS Biology, Public Library of Science, 2009, 7 (3), pp.e61. ⟨10.1371/journal.pbio.1000061⟩. ⟨cea-00423936⟩

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