The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the integration of perception and action are an important topic in cognitive neuroscience. Yet, connections between neurophysiology and cognitive theoretical frameworks have rarely been established. The theory of event coding (TEC) details how perceptions and actions are associated (bound) in a common representational domain (the “event file”), but the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying these processes are hardly understood. We used complementary neurophysiological methods to examine the neurophysiology of event file processing (i.e., event-related potentials [ERPs], temporal EEG signal decomposition, EEG source localization, time-frequency decomposition, EEG network analysis). We show that the P3 ERP component and activity modulations in inferior parietal regions (BA40) reflect event file binding processes. The relevance of this parietal region is corroborated by source localization of temporally decomposed EEG data. We also show that temporal EEG signal decomposition reveals a pattern of results suggesting that event file processes can be dissociated from pure stimulus and response-related processes in the EEG signal. Importantly, it is also documented that event file binding processes are reflected by modulations in the network architecture of theta frequency band activity. That is, when stimulus–response bindings in event files hamper response selection this was associated with a less efficient theta network organization. A more efficient organization was evident when stimulus–response binding in event files facilitated response selection. Small-world network measures seem to reflect event file processing. The results show how cognitive-theoretical assumptions of TEC can directly be mapped to the neurophysiology of response selection.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)