Theta-gamma coupling binds visual perceptual features in an associative memory task

Autor(en): Koester, Moritz
Finger, Holger
Graetz, Sebastian
Kater, Maren
Gruber, Thomas 
Stichwörter: ALPHA-OSCILLATIONS; ATTENTION; BAND; BRAIN OSCILLATIONS; EEG; ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAM; Multidisciplinary Sciences; NEURONAL OSCILLATIONS; PERFORMANCE; PHASE SYNCHRONIZATION; RETRIEVAL; Science & Technology - Other Topics
Erscheinungsdatum: 2018
Herausgeber: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Journal: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
Volumen: 8
Zusammenfassung: 
It is an integral function of the human brain to sample novel information from the environment and to integrate them into existing representations. Recent evidence suggests a specific role for the theta rhythm (4-8 Hz) in mnemonic processes and the coupling between the theta and the gamma rhythm (40-120 Hz) in ordering and binding perceptual features during encoding. Furthermore, decreases in the alpha rhythm (8-12 Hz) are assumed to gate perceptual information processes in semantic networks. In the present study, we used an associative memory task (object-color combinations) with pictures versus words as stimuli (high versus low visual information) to separate associative memory from visual perceptual processes during memory formation. We found increased theta power for later remembered versus later forgotten items (independent of the color judgement) and an increase in phase-amplitude coupling between frontal theta and fronto-temporal gamma oscillations, specific for the formation of picture-color associations. Furthermore, parietal alpha suppression and gamma power were higher for pictures compared to words. These findings support the idea of a theta-gamma code in binding visual perceptual features during encoding. Furthermore, alpha suppression likely reflects perceptual gating processes in semantic networks and is insensitive to mnemonic and associative binding processes. Gamma oscillations may promote visual perceptual information in visual cortical networks, which is integrated into existing representations by prefrontal control processes, working at a theta pace.
ISSN: 20452322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-35812-7

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