Perceptual decisions based on the comparison of two vibrotactile frequencies have been extensively studied in non-human primates. Recently, we obtained corresponding findings from human oscillatory electroencephalography (EEG) activity in the form of choice-selective modulations of upper beta band amplitude in medial premotor areas. However, the research in non-human primates as well as its human counterpart was so far limited to decisions reported by button presses. Thus, here we investigated whether the observed human beta band modulation is specific to the response modality. We recorded EEG activity from participants who compared two sequentially presented vibrotactile frequencies (f1 and f2), and decided whether f2 > f1 or f2 < f1, by performing a horizontal saccade to either side of a computer screen. Contrasting time-frequency transformed EEG data between both choices revealed that upper beta band amplitude (∼24–32 Hz) was modulated by participants’ choices before actual responses were given. In particular, “f2 > f1” choices were always associated with higher beta band amplitude than “f2 < f1” choices, irrespective of whether the choice was correct or not, and independent of the specific association between saccade direction and choice. The observed pattern of beta band modulation was virtually identical to our previous results when participants responded with button presses. In line with an intentional framework of decision making, the most likely sources of the beta band modulation were now, however, located in lateral as compared to medial premotor areas including the frontal eye fields. Hence, we could show that the choice-selective modulation of upper beta band amplitude is on the one hand consistent across different response modalities (i.e., same modulation pattern in similar frequency band), and on the other hand effector specific (i.e., modulation originating from areas involved in planning and executing saccades).
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