Similar EEG Activity Patterns During Experimentally-Induced Auditory Illusions and Veridical Perceptions

Maryam Faramarzi, Florian H. Kasten, Gamze Altas, Andre Aleman, Branislava Curcic-Blake, Christoph S. Herrmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Hallucinations and illusions are two instances of perceptual experiences illustrating how perception might diverge from external sensory stimulations and be generated or altered based on internal brain states. The occurrence of these phenomena is not constrained to patient populations. Similar experiences can be elicited in healthy subjects by means of suitable experimental procedures. Studying the neural mechanisms underlying these experiences not only has the potential to expand our understanding of the brain's perceptual machinery but also of how it might get impaired. In the current study, we employed an auditory signal detection task to induce auditory illusions by presenting speech snippets at near detection threshold intensity embedded in noise. We investigated the neural correlates of auditory false perceptions by examining the EEG activity preceding the responses in speech absent (false alarm, FA) trials and comparing them to speech present (hit) trials. The results of the comparison of event-related potentials (ERPs) in the activation period vs. baseline revealed the presence of an early negativity (EN) and a late positivity (LP) similar in both hits and FAs, which were absent in misses, correct rejections (CR) and control button presses (BPs). We postulate that the EN and the LP might represent the auditory awareness negativity (AAN) and centro-parietal positivity (CPP) or P300, respectively. The event-related spectral perturbations (ERSPs) exhibited a common power enhancement in low frequencies (

Original languageEnglish
Article number602437
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 1-Apr-2021


  • auditory perception
  • auditory illusions
  • auditory awareness negativity
  • CPP
  • late positivity
  • P300
  • SCP
  • signal detection

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