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Neuroimage. 2015 Oct 1;119:417-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.06.043. Epub 2015 Jun 26.

Inferior-frontal cortex phase synchronizes with the temporal-parietal junction prior to successful change detection.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Centre for Vision Research, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M6J 1P3, Canada; Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, Toronto, ON M5T 2S8, Canada; Department of Psychology, Carl von Ossietsky Universitaet, Oldenburg, Germany.
2
Department of Biology, Centre for Vision Research, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M6J 1P3, Canada.
3
Division of Fundamental Neurobiology, Toronto Western Research Institute, Toronto, ON M5T 2S8, Canada; Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 1P5, Canada.
4
Department of Biology, Centre for Vision Research, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M6J 1P3, Canada. Electronic address: thiwom@yorku.ca.

Abstract

The inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) are believed to be core structures of human brain networks that activate when sensory top-down expectancies guide goal directed behavior and attentive perception. But it is unclear how activity in IFG and TPJ coordinates during attention demanding tasks and whether functional interactions between both structures are related to successful attentional performance. Here, we tested these questions in electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings in human subjects using a visual detection task that required sustained attentional expectancy in order to detect non-salient, near-threshold visual events. We found that during sustained attention the successful visual detection was predicted by increased phase synchronization of band-limited 15-30 Hz beta band activity that was absent prior to misses. Increased beta-band phase alignment during attentional engagement early during the task was restricted to inferior and lateral prefrontal cortex, but with sustained attention it extended to long-range IFG-TPJ phase synchronization and included superior prefrontal areas. In addition to beta, a widely distributed network of brain areas comprising the occipital cortex showed enhanced and reduced alpha band phase synchronization before correct detections. These findings identify long-range phase synchrony in the 15-30 Hz beta band as the mesoscale brain signal that predicts the successful deployment of attentional expectancy of sensory events. We speculate that localized beta coherent states in prefrontal cortex index 'top-down' sensory expectancy whose coupling with TPJ subregions facilitates the gating of relevant visual information.

KEYWORDS:

Alpha frequency oscillations; Attention; Beta frequency synchronization; Coherence; ECoG; Functional networks; Prefrontal cortex; Temporo-parietal cortex; Top-down control

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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