Using multivariate pattern analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, we found that the subjective experience of sound, in the absence of auditory stimulation, was associated with content-specific activity in early auditory cortices in humans. As subjects viewed sound-implying, but silent, visual stimuli, activity in auditory cortex differentiated among sounds related to various animals, musical instruments and objects. These results support the idea that early sensory cortex activity reflects perceptual experience, rather than sensory stimulation alone.
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H.D. and A.D. are supported by the Mathers Foundation and the US National Institutes of Health (5P50NS019632-25).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Supplementary Figures 1–8, Supplementary Methods, Supplementary Results and Supplementary Discussion (PDF 668 kb)
This clip displays a howling dog and serves as an example for the animal video clips. (MOV 1639 kb)
This clip displays a piano key being struck and serves as an example for the musical instrument video clips. (MOV 1273 kb)
This clip displays a handful of coins being dropped into a glass and serves as an example for the object video clips. (MOV 1231 kb)
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Meyer, K., Kaplan, J., Essex, R. et al. Predicting visual stimuli on the basis of activity in auditory cortices. Nat Neurosci 13, 667–668 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2533
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