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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 20;107(16):7580-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913113107. Epub 2010 Apr 5.

Neuronal synchrony reveals working memory networks and predicts individual memory capacity.

Author information

1
Neuroscience Center, 00014-University of Helsinki, Finland. matias.palva@helsinki.fi

Abstract

Visual working memory (VWM) is used to maintain sensory information for cognitive operations, and its deficits are associated with several neuropsychological disorders. VWM is based on sustained neuronal activity in a complex cortical network of frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal areas. The neuronal mechanisms that coordinate this distributed processing to sustain coherent mental images and the mechanisms that set the behavioral capacity limit have remained unknown. We mapped the anatomical and dynamic structures of network synchrony supporting VWM by using a neuro informatics approach and combined magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography. Interareal phase synchrony was sustained and stable during the VWM retention period among frontoparietal and visual areas in alpha- (10-13 Hz), beta- (18-24 Hz), and gamma- (30-40 Hz) frequency bands. Furthermore, synchrony was strengthened with increasing memory load among the frontoparietal regions known to underlie executive and attentional functions during memory maintenance. On the other hand, the subjects' individual behavioral VWM capacity was predicted by synchrony in a network in which the intraparietal sulcus was the most central hub. These data suggest that interareal phase synchrony in the alpha-, beta-, and gamma-frequency bands among frontoparietal and visual regions could be a systems level mechanism for coordinating and regulating the maintenance of neuronal object representations in VWM.

PMID:
20368447
PMCID:
PMC2867688
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0913113107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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