How are events in the external world transformed into perceptual experiences via electrical coding in the brain? This simple question forms one of the most basic and long-standing problems of perception. Magnetoencephalography, or MEG, is one of several noninvasive brain imaging techniques that allow scientists to explore the link between neural activity and perception.

Like the related technique of electroencephalography (EEG), MEG essentially measures electrical currents generated by neural activity. MEG measures these electrical currents indirectly, through their magnetic fields. (It is a basic principle of physics that moving electrical currents produce magnetic fields.) MEG has excellent temporal resolution, on the order of milliseconds, allowing noninvasive real-time recording of neural activity. Therefore, this technique is well suited to examine the time course of perceptual processing in ...

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