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Neuroimage. 2011 Jun 1;56(3):1773-82. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.02.062. Epub 2011 Feb 26.

Frequency-specific electrocorticographic correlates of working memory delay period fMRI activity.

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The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Electrocorticography (ECoG) and functional MRI (BOLD-fMRI) have been used previously to measure brain activity during working memory delay periods. These studies have separately reported oscillation changes in the theta (4-8 Hz) band and BOLD-fMRI increases during delay periods when information is maintained in memory. However, it is not known how intracranial cortical field potential (CFP) changes relate to BOLD-fMRI responses during delay periods. To answer this question, fMRI was obtained from six epilepsy patients during a visual working memory task. Then, following subdural macroelectrode implant, continuous ECoG was used to record CFPs during the same task. Time-frequency analyses showed delay period gamma band oscillation amplitude increases on electrodes located near fMRI activity, while in the theta band changes were higher for electrodes located away from fMRI activation. The amplitude of the ECoG gamma band response was significantly positively correlated with the fMRI response, while a negative correlation was found for the theta band. The findings are consistent with previous reports of local field potential (LFP) coupling in the gamma band with BOLD-fMRI responses during visual stimulation in monkeys, but are novel in that the relationship reported here persists after the disappearance of visual stimuli while information is being maintained in memory. We conclude that there is a relationship between BOLD-fMRI increases and human working memory delay period gamma oscillation increases and theta decreases. The spectral profile change provides a basis for comparison of working memory delay period BOLD-fMRI with field potential recordings in animals and other human intracranial EEG studies.

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