Theta-gamma phase synchronization during memory matching in visual working memory

Elisa Mira Holz, Mark Glennon, Karen Prendergast, Paul Sauseng
NeuroImage 2010 August 1, 52 (1): 326-35
In most cases, object recognition is related to the matching of internal memory contents and bottom-up external sensory stimulation. The aim of this study was to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of memory matching based on EEG oscillatory phase synchronization analysis. Healthy subjects completed a delayed-match to sample task in which items stored in visual-spatial short-term memory had to be compared with a matching or non-matching probe. The results show that memory matching appears as transient phase-synchronization over parieto-occipital regions between theta (4-8 Hz) and high gamma (50-70 Hz) oscillations, 150-200 ms post probe presentation. When memory representation and visual information match, phase-synchronization is stronger in the right hemisphere; conversely, when they do not match, stronger phase synchronization is observed in the left hemisphere. The present results reveal the integrative role of oscillatory activity in the memory matching process.

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