Human scalp electroencephalographic rhythms, indicative of cortical population synchrony, have long been posited to reflect cognitive processing. Although numerous studies employing simultaneous thalamic and cortical electrode recording in nonhuman animals have explored the role of the thalamus in the modulation of cortical rhythms, direct evidence for thalamocortical modulation in human has not, to our knowledge, been obtained. We simultaneously recorded from thalamic and scalp electrodes in one human during performance of a cognitive task and found a spatially widespread, phase-locked, low-frequency rhythm (7-8 Hz) power decrease at thalamus and scalp during semantic memory recall. This low-frequency rhythm power decrease was followed by a spatially specific, phase-locked, fast-rhythm (21-34 Hz) power increase at thalamus and occipital scalp. Such a pattern of thalamocortical activity reflects a plausible neural mechanism underlying semantic memory recall that may underlie other cognitive processes as well.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Apr 30 2002|
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