Send to

Choose Destination
Hippocampus. 2014 Jun;24(6):656-65. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22255. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

Medial prefrontal theta phase coupling during spatial memory retrieval.

Author information

NIMH-UCL Joint Neuroscience Graduate Partnership Program, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland; Section on Functional Imaging Methods, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland; University College London, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Alexandra House, London, WC1N 3AR, United Kingdom; University College London, Institute of Neurology, London, WC1N 1PJ, United Kingdom.


Memory retrieval is believed to involve a disparate network of areas, including medial prefrontal and medial temporal cortices, but the mechanisms underlying their coordination remain elusive. One suggestion is that oscillatory coherence mediates inter-regional communication, implicating theta phase and theta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling in mnemonic function across species. To examine this hypothesis, we used non-invasive whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) as participants retrieved the location of objects encountered within a virtual environment. We demonstrate that, when participants are cued with the image of an object whose location they must subsequently navigate to, there is a significant increase in 4-8 Hz theta power in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and the phase of this oscillation is coupled both with ongoing theta phase in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and perceptually induced 65-85 Hz gamma amplitude in medial parietal cortex. These results suggest that theta phase coupling between mPFC and MTL and theta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling between mPFC and neocortical regions may play a role in human spatial memory retrieval.


MEG; MTL; hippocampus; mPFC; oscillations

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center