Modulation of Spectral Representation and Connectivity Patterns in Response to Visual Narrative in the Human Brain

Zahraa Sabra, Ali Alawieh, Leonardo Bonilha, Thomas Naselaris, Nicholas AuYong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The regional brain networks and the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms subserving the cognition of visual narrative in humans have largely been studied with non-invasive brain recording. In this study, we specifically investigated how regional and cross-regional cortical activities support visual narrative interpretation using intracranial stereotactic electroencephalograms recordings from thirteen human subjects (6 females, and 7 males). Widely distributed recording sites across the brain were sampled while subjects were explicitly instructed to observe images from fables presented in “sequential” order, and a set of images drawn from multiple fables presented in “scrambled” order. Broadband activity mainly within the frontal and temporal lobes were found to encode if a presented image is part of a visual narrative (sequential) or random image set (scrambled). Moreover, the temporal lobe exhibits strong activation in response to visual narratives while the frontal lobe is more engaged when contextually novel stimuli are presented. We also investigated the dynamics of interregional interactions between visual narratives and contextually novel series of images. Interestingly, the interregional connectivity is also altered between sequential and scrambled sequences. Together, these results suggest that both changes in regional neuronal activity and cross-regional interactions subserve visual narrative and contextual novelty processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number886938
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - Oct 6 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the grant NEI R01 EY023384.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Sabra, Alawieh, Bonilha, Naselaris and AuYong.


  • SEEG
  • Spectral representation
  • brain connectivity
  • contextual novelty
  • visual narrative


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