Dotson NM, Salazar RF, Gray CM (2014). Fronto-parietal correlation dynamics reveal interplay between integration and segregation during visual working memory. J Neuroscience, 34(41):13600-13.

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Abstract

Working memory requires large-scale cooperation among widespread cortical and subcortical brain regions. Importantly, these processes must achieve an appropriate balance between functional integration and segregation, which are thought to be mediated by task-dependent spatiotemporal patterns of correlated activity. Here, we used cross-correlation analysis to estimate the incidence, magnitude, and relative phase angle of temporally correlated activity from simultaneous local field potential recordings in a network of prefrontal and posterior parietal cortical areas in monkeys performing an oculomotor, delayed match-to-sample task. We found long-range intraparietal and frontoparietal correlations that display a bimodal distribution of relative phase values, centered near 0° and 180°, suggesting a possible basis for functional segregation among distributed networks. Both short- and long-range correlations display striking task-dependent transitions in strength and relative phase, indicating that cognitive events are accompanied by robust changes in the pattern of temporal coordination across the frontoparietal network.

Manning JR, Polyn SM, Baltuch G, Litt B, Kahana MJ (2011). Oscillatory patterns in temporal lobe reveal context reinstatement during memory search. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...

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Abstract

Psychological theories of memory posit that when people recall a past event, they not only recover the features of the event itself, but also recover information associated with other events that occurred nearby in time. The events surrounding a target event, and the thoughts they evoke, may be considered to represent a context for the target event, helping to distinguish that event from similar events experienced at different times. The ability to reinstate this contextual information during memory search has been considered a hallmark of episodic, or event-based, memory. We sought to determine whether context reinstatement may be observed in electrical signals recorded from the human brain during episodic recall. Analyzing electrocorticographic recordings taken as 69 neurosurgical patients studied and recalled lists of words, we uncovered a neural signature of context reinstatement. Upon recalling a studied item, we found that the recorded patterns of brain activity were not only similar to the patterns observed when the item was studied, but were also similar to the patterns observed during study of neighboring list items, with similarity decreasing reliably with positional distance. The degree to which individual patients displayed this neural signature of context reinstatement was correlated with their tendency to recall neighboring list items successively. These effects were particularly strong in temporal lobe recordings. Our findings show that recalling a past event evokes a neural signature of the temporal context in which the event occurred, thus pointing to a neural basis for episodic memory.