Neural tracking in infants – An analytical tool for multisensory social processing in development

Sarah Jessen*, Jonas Obleser, Sarah Tune

*Corresponding author for this work
14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humans are born into a social environment and from early on possess a range of abilities to detect and respond to social cues. In the past decade, there has been a rapidly increasing interest in investigating the neural responses underlying such early social processes under naturalistic conditions. However, the investigation of neural responses to continuous dynamic input poses the challenge of how to link neural responses back to continuous sensory input. In the present tutorial, we provide a step-by-step introduction to one approach to tackle this issue, namely the use of linear models to investigate neural tracking responses in electroencephalographic (EEG) data. While neural tracking has gained increasing popularity in adult cognitive neuroscience over the past decade, its application to infant EEG is still rare and comes with its own challenges. After introducing the concept of neural tracking, we discuss and compare the use of forward vs. backward models and individual vs. generic models using an example data set of infant EEG data. Each section comprises a theoretical introduction as well as a concrete example using MATLAB code. We argue that neural tracking provides a promising way to investigate early (social) processing in an ecologically valid setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101034
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume52
ISSN1878-9293
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

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