Covert Intention to Answer to Self-Referential Questions Is Represented in Alpha-Band Local and Interregional Neural Synchronies

Jeong Woo Choi, Kwang Su Cha, Kyunghwan Kim

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Abstract

The most fundamental and simplest intention for interpersonal communication may be the intentions to answer "yes" or "no" to a question, based on a binary decision. However, the neural mechanism of this type of intention has not been investigated in detail. The main purpose of this study was to investigate cortical processing of the "yes/no" intentions to answer self-referential questions. Multichannel electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded while covertly answering self-referential questions with either "yes" or "no". Event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) and interregional phase synchrony (PS) were investigated to identify the differences in local and global neural synchronies between two intentions. We found that the local and interregional neural synchronies in the alpha-band were significantly different between "yes" and "no," especially at the period of retaining the intention in mind, which was greater for "no" than for "yes." These results can be interpreted to signify that a higher cognitive load during working memory retention or higher attentional demand is required for the "no" intention compared to "yes." Our findings suggest that both local and global neural synchronies in the alpha-band may be significantly differentiated during a critical temporal epoch, according to the contents of the mental representation of the intention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7084186
JournalComputational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

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Electroencephalography
Data storage equipment
Communication
Processing
Cognitive Load
Working Memory
Synchrony
Binary
Perturbation
Short-Term Memory

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Mathematics(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "The most fundamental and simplest intention for interpersonal communication may be the intentions to answer {"}yes{"} or {"}no{"} to a question, based on a binary decision. However, the neural mechanism of this type of intention has not been investigated in detail. The main purpose of this study was to investigate cortical processing of the {"}yes/no{"} intentions to answer self-referential questions. Multichannel electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded while covertly answering self-referential questions with either {"}yes{"} or {"}no{"}. Event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) and interregional phase synchrony (PS) were investigated to identify the differences in local and global neural synchronies between two intentions. We found that the local and interregional neural synchronies in the alpha-band were significantly different between {"}yes{"} and {"}no,{"} especially at the period of retaining the intention in mind, which was greater for {"}no{"} than for {"}yes.{"} These results can be interpreted to signify that a higher cognitive load during working memory retention or higher attentional demand is required for the {"}no{"} intention compared to {"}yes.{"} Our findings suggest that both local and global neural synchronies in the alpha-band may be significantly differentiated during a critical temporal epoch, according to the contents of the mental representation of the intention.",
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