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Nat Commun. 2017 Dec 19;8(1):2182. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02108-9.

Hippocampal-prefrontal theta-gamma coupling during performance of a spatial working memory task.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, 10032, USA.
2
Neuroscience Research Unit, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 227-0033, Japan.
3
Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University, New York, NY, 10032, USA.
4
Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University, New York, NY, 10032, USA. jag90@cumc.columbia.edu.
5
Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, NY, 10032, USA. jag90@cumc.columbia.edu.
6
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, 10032, USA. joshua.gordon@nih.gov.
7
Division of Integrative Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatry Institute, New York, NY, 10032, USA. joshua.gordon@nih.gov.
8
National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA. joshua.gordon@nih.gov.

Abstract

Cross-frequency coupling supports the organization of brain rhythms and is present during a range of cognitive functions. However, little is known about whether and how long-range cross-frequency coupling across distant brain regions subserves working memory. Here we report that theta-slow gamma coupling between the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is augmented in a genetic mouse model of cognitive dysfunction. This increased cross-frequency coupling is observed specifically when the mice successfully perform a spatial working memory task. In wild-type mice, increasing task difficulty by introducing a long delay or by optogenetically interfering with encoding, also increases theta-gamma coupling during correct trials. Finally, epochs of high hippocampal theta-prefrontal slow gamma coupling are associated with increased synchronization of neurons within the mPFC. These findings suggest that enhancement of theta-slow gamma coupling reflects a compensatory mechanism to maintain spatial working memory performance in the setting of increased difficulty.

PMID:
29259151
PMCID:
PMC5736608
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-017-02108-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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