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Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 22;8(1):1704. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01763-2.

Widespread theta synchrony and high-frequency desynchronization underlies enhanced cognition.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. esolo@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
3
Department of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, USA.
4
Department of Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, USA.
5
Department of Neurology, Department of Physiology and Bioengineering, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.
6
Department of Neurosurgery, Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.
7
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX, 75390, USA.
8
Department of Neurology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
9
Department of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
10
Department of Neurology, Dartmouth Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, 03756, USA.
11
Surgical Neurology Branch, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, 20814, USA.
12
Department of Neurosurgery, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, 10032, USA.
13
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. kahana@psych.upenn.edu.

Abstract

The idea that synchronous neural activity underlies cognition has driven an extensive body of research in human and animal neuroscience. Yet, insufficient data on intracranial electrical connectivity has precluded a direct test of this hypothesis in a whole-brain setting. Through the lens of memory encoding and retrieval processes, we construct whole-brain connectivity maps of fast gamma (30-100 Hz) and slow theta (3-8 Hz) spectral neural activity, based on data from 294 neurosurgical patients fitted with indwelling electrodes. Here we report that gamma networks desynchronize and theta networks synchronize during encoding and retrieval. Furthermore, for nearly all brain regions we studied, gamma power rises as that region desynchronizes with gamma activity elsewhere in the brain, establishing gamma as a largely asynchronous phenomenon. The abundant phenomenon of theta synchrony is positively correlated with a brain region's gamma power, suggesting a predominant low-frequency mechanism for inter-regional communication.

PMID:
29167419
PMCID:
PMC5700170
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-017-01763-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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