Cross-frequency synchronization connects networks of fast and slow oscillations during visual working memory maintenance

Felix Siebenhühner, Sheng H. Wang, J. Matias Palva, Satu Palva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuronal activity in sensory and fronto-parietal (FP) areas underlies the representation and attentional control, respectively, of sensory information maintained in visual working memory (VWM). Within these regions, beta/gamma phase-synchronization supports the integration of sensory functions, while synchronization in theta/alpha bands supports the regulation of attentional functions. A key challenge is to understand which mechanisms integrate neuronal processing across these distinct frequencies and thereby the sensory and attentional functions. We investigated whether such integration could be achieved by cross-frequency phase synchrony (CFS). Using concurrent magneto-and electroencephalography, we found that CFS was load-dependently enhanced between theta and alpha-gamma and between alpha and beta-gamma oscillations during VWM maintenance among visual, FP, and dorsal attention (DA) systems. CFS also connected the hubs of within-frequency-synchronized networks and its strength predicted individual VWM capacity. We propose that CFS integrates processing among synchronized neuronal networks from theta to gamma frequencies to link sensory and attentional functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13451
JournalELIFE
Volume5
Issue numberSeptember2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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