Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Violation of expectation: neural correlates reflect bases of prediction
    (MIT Pr. Journals, 2009-01)
    Bubic, Andreja
    ;
    von Cramon, D. Yves
    ;
    ;
    Schröger, Erich
    ;
    Schubotz, Ricarda I.
    Setting perceptual expectations can be based on different sources of information that determine which functional networks will be involved in implementing preparatory top-down influences and dealing with situations in which expectations are violated. The goal of the present study was to investigate and directly compare brain activations triggered by violating expectations within two different task contexts. In the serial prediction task, participants monitored ordered perceptual sequences for predefined sequential deviants. In contrast, the target detection task entailed a presentation of stimuli which had to be monitored for predefined nonsequential deviants. Detection of sequential deviants triggered an increase of activity in premotor and cerebellar components of the "standard" sequencing network and activations in additional frontal areas initially not involved in sequencing. This pattern of activity reflects the detection of a mismatch between the expected and presented stimuli, updating of the underlying sequence representation (i.e., forward model), and elaboration of the violation. In contrast, target detection elicited activations in posterior temporal and parietal areas, reflecting an increase in perceptual processing evoked by the nonsequential deviant. The obtained results suggest that distinct functional networks involved in detecting deviants in different contexts reflect the origin and the nature of expectations being violated.
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Brain correlates of aesthetic judgment of beauty
    (Academic Press, 2006) ;
    Schubotz, Ricarda I.
    ;
    Höfel, Lea
    ;
    Cramon, D. Yves V.
    Functional MRI was used to investigate the neural correlates of aesthetic judgments of beauty of geometrical shapes. Participants performed evaluative aesthetic judgments (beautiful or not?) and descriptive symmetry judgments (symmetric or not?) on the same stimulus material. Symmetry was employed because aesthetic judgments are known to be often guided by criteria of symmetry. Novel, abstract graphic patterns were presented to minimize influences of attitudes or memory-related processes and to test effects of stimulus symmetry and complexity. Behavioral results confirmed the influence of stimulus symmetry and complexity on aesthetic judgments. Direct contrasts showed specific activations for aesthetic judgments in the frontomedian cortex (BA 9/10), bilateral prefrontal BA 45/47, and posterior cingulate, left temporal pole, and the temporoparietal junction. In contrast, symmetry judgments elicited specific activations in parietal and premotor areas subserving spatial processing. Interestingly, beautiful judgments enhanced BOLD signals not only in the frontomedian cortex, but also in the left intraparietal sulcus of the symmetry network. Moreover, stimulus complexity caused differential effects for each of the two judgment types. Findings indicate aesthetic judgments of beauty to rely on a network partially overlapping with that underlying evaluative judgments on social and moral cues and substantiate the significance of symmetry and complexity for our judgment of beauty.