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Brain Res Bull. 2006 Jan 15;68(4):203-12. Epub 2005 Oct 27.

Functional frontoparietal connectivity during encoding and retrieval processes follows HERA model. A high-resolution study.

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1
Dipartimento di Fisiologia Umana e Farmacologia, Sezione di EEG ad Alta Risoluzione, Università degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy. claudio.babiloni@uniroma1.it

Abstract

Recent neuroimaging studies of long-term episodic memory have suggested that left prefrontal cortex predominates in encoding condition, whereas right prefrontal cortex predominates in retrieval condition (hemispheric encoding and retrieval asymmetry, HERA model). The present electroencephalographic (EEG) study investigated the functional coupling of fronto-parietal regions during long-term memorization of visuo-spatial contents (i.e. landscapes, interiors of apartments), to test the predictions of the HERA model. Global fronto-parietal coupling was estimated by spectral coherence, whereas the "direction" of the fronto-parietal information flow was estimated by directed transfer function (DTF). The EEG rhythms of interest were theta (4-7 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz), beta (14-30 Hz), and gamma (30-45 Hz). Statistically significant coherence in line with the HERA model was obtained at the gamma band. Namely, the fronto-parietal gamma coherence prevailed in the left hemisphere during the encoding condition and in the right hemisphere during the retrieval condition. The DTF estimates of the gamma band showed a dominant parietal-to-frontal directional flow in the right hemisphere during the encoding condition and in the left hemisphere during the retrieval condition (i.e. hemisphere-condition combination not involved by the HERA model). In contrast, a balanced bidirectional flow of the fronto-parietal coupling was observed in the left hemisphere during the encoding condition and in the right hemisphere during the retrieval condition (i.e. hemisphere-condition combination involved by the HERA model). In conclusion, the present encoding-retrieval conditions induced maximal fronto-parietal gamma coupling with bidirectional information flow in the hemisphere-condition combination predicted by the HERA model.

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