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Dynamic regulation of interregional cortical communication by slow brain oscillations during working memory

Berger, B., Griesmayr, B., Minarik, T., Biel, A. L., Pinal, D., Sterr, A. and Sauseng, P. (2019) Dynamic regulation of interregional cortical communication by slow brain oscillations during working memory NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 10 (1), 4242.

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Transiently storing information and mentally manipulating it is known as working memory. These operations are implemented by a distributed, fronto-parietal cognitive control network in the brain. The neural mechanisms controlling interactions within this network are yet to be determined. Here, we show that during a working memory task the brain uses an oscillatory mechanism for regulating access to prefrontal cognitive resources, dynamically controlling interactions between prefrontal cortex and remote neocortical areas. Combining EEG with non-invasive brain stimulation we show that fast rhythmical brain activity at posterior sites are nested into prefrontal slow brain waves. Depending on cognitive demand this high frequency activity is nested into different phases of the slow wave enabling dynamic coupling or de-coupling of the fronto-parietal control network adjusted to cognitive effort. This mechanism constitutes a basic principle of coordinating higher cognitive functions in the human brain.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Berger, B.
Griesmayr, B.
Minarik, T.
Biel, A. L.
Pinal, D.
Sauseng, P.
Date : 18 September 2019
DOI : 10.1038/s41467-019-12057-0
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2019. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords : Cognitive neuroscience; Human behaviour; Short-term memory; Working memory
Additional Information : This research was supported by the German Research Council (DFG; grant SA1872/2-2 to P.S.). B.B. is recipient of a Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship (H2020-MSCA-IF-2015 project number 703456).
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 01 Nov 2019 11:00
Last Modified : 01 Nov 2019 11:00

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