M. Sc. Elio Balestrieri
© AE Busch
M. Sc. Elio Balestrieri
Institute of Experimental Psychology (Prof. Busch)
Room Fl. 309a
48149 Münster


My PhD project is focused on the role of spontaneous oscillations in electrical brain activity on perceptual decision making, with a particular focus on the alpha rhythm. This peculiar phenomenon is the most prominent brain rhythm in human EEG recordings, with a frequency of approximately 10 Hz, and it has already been linked by previous research to accuracy in tasks requiring detection of near threshold stimuli: according to these evidence, a high power in this frequency band would be related to reduced capacity in detection.

Recent evidence adds interesting features to this phenomenon. Firstly, a decrease in alpha power underlies a state of enhanced neuronal excitability in visual cortices. Secondly, the perceptual effect of this enhanced neuronal excitability is not higher accuracy (i.e. better discrimination between stimulus and noise) as thought before, but a higher probability of reporting a stimulus regardless of its actual presence.

Trying to better characterize the relationship between these spontaneous electrical brain states and our phenomenological perception is my challenge for the next years.

Get his CV here.