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Infants form basic expectations about their physical and social environment, as indicated by their attention toward events that violate their expectations. Yet little is known about the neuronal processing of unexpected events in the infant brain. Here, we used rhythmic visual brain stimulation in 9-month-olds ( = 38) to elicit oscillations of the theta (4 Hz) and the alpha (6 Hz) rhythms while presenting events with unexpected or expected outcomes. We found that visually entrained theta oscillations sharply increased for unexpected outcomes, in contrast to expected outcomes, in the scalp-recorded electroencephalogram. Visually entrained alpha oscillations did not differ between conditions. The processing of unexpected events at the theta rhythm may reflect learning processes such as the refinement of infants' basic representations. Visual brain-stimulation techniques provide new ways to investigate the functional relevance of neuronal oscillatory dynamics in early brain development.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Psychological science
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Unexpected and unintentional events, typically resulting in damage or injury.
Efforts and designs to reduce the incidence of unexpected undesirable events in various environments and situations.
Members of the alpha-globin family. In humans, they are encoded in a gene cluster on CHROMOSOME 16. They include zeta-globin and alpha-globin. There are also pseudogenes of zeta (theta-zeta) and alpha (theta-alpha) in the cluster. Adult HEMOGLOBIN is comprised of 2 alpha-globin chains and 2 beta-globin chains.
A series of progressive, overlapping events, triggered by exposure of the PLATELETS to subendothelial tissue. These events include shape change, adhesiveness, aggregation, and release reactions. When carried through to completion, these events lead to the formation of a stable hemostatic plug.
A human infant born before 37 weeks of GESTATION.