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Neuroimage. 2005 Sep;27(3):553-63.

Long-range EEG phase synchronization during an arithmetic task indexes a coherent cortical network simultaneously measured by fMRI.

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Laboratory for Dynamics of Emergent Intelligence, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, 2-1, Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.


An open question lies in whether or not distributed activities in the distant brain regions are integrated into a coherent ensemble for cognitive information processing. Long-range phase synchronization is often observed by scalp EEG measurements during cognitive tasks and is considered to provide a possible neural principle for the functional integration of distributed neural activities. Synchronization could be reflected at the neuron firing level or at the local field potential and could appear in the scalp EEG under certain conditions on neural spatial and temporal coherence. To examine if phase synchronization is concerned with the integration of distant regions, we proposed a method to extract brain activities associated with task-dependent phase synchronization by combining simultaneous fMRI and EEG. By applying this method in a mental arithmetic task, we found a dominant task-dependent increase of phase synchronization around 14 Hz (in beta frequency) across bilateral parietal sites that were associated with both negative and positive BOLD responses. Functional connectivity analyses of these regions demonstrated that an increase in hemispheric beta synchronization was associated with a linking between the cross-hemispheric regions (left angular gyrus and right superior parietal gyrus) and also among the anterior-posterior regions (right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, putamen, and right superior temporal gyrus). These findings indicate that the positive BOLD regions (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and superior parietal lobule) are linked with other negative BOLD regions. We also discussed the possible importance of beta synchronization in the formation of a working memory network.

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