December 4, 2020

Decoding visual colour from scalp electroencephalography measurements

Recent advances have made it possible to decode various aspects of visually presented stimuli from patterns of scalp EEG measurements. As of recently, such multivariate methods have been commonly used to decode visual-spatial features such as location, orientation, or spatial frequency. In the current proof-of-principle study, we show that it is also possible to track visual colour processing by using Linear Discriminant Analysis. Building on other recent demonstrations, we show that colour decoding: (1) reflects sensory qualities (as opposed to, for example, verbal labelling) with a prominent contribution from posterior electrodes contralateral to the stimulus, (2) conforms to a parametric coding space, (3) is possible in multi-item displays, and (4) is comparable in magnitude to the decoding of visual stimulus orientation. Through subsampling our data, we also provide an estimate of the approximate number of trials and participants required for robust decoding. Colour decoding opens a relevant new dimension in which to track visual processing using scalp EEG measurements, while bypassing potential confounds associated with decoding approaches that focus on spatial features.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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