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Brain Res. 2012 Jan 11;1431:77-85. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.11.005. Epub 2011 Nov 7.

Theta modulation of inter-regional gamma synchronization during auditory attention control.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.


Synchronization of gamma oscillations among brain regions is relevant for dynamically organizing communication among neurons to support cognitive and perceptual processing, including attention orienting. Recent research has demonstrated that inter-regional synchronization in the gamma-band is modulated by theta rhythms during cortical processing. It has been proposed that such cross-frequency dynamics underlie the integration of local processes into large-scale functional networks. To investigate the potential role of theta-gamma mechanisms during auditory attention control, we localized activated regions using EEG beamformer analysis, and calculated inter-regional gamma-band synchronization between activated regions as well as modulation of inter-regional gamma-band synchronization by the phase of cortical theta rhythms. Abundant synchronization of gamma-band oscillations among regions comprising the auditory attention control network was observed. This inter-regional gamma synchronization was modulated by theta phase. These results provide further evidence implicating inter-regional gamma-band synchronization, and theta-gamma interactions, in task-dependent communication among cortical regions, and provide the first evidence that such mechanisms are relevant for auditory attention control.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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