Electroencephalographic (EEG) Coherence Study of Working Memory Brain Oscillations

author: Simon Brežan
published: Sept. 17, 2009,   recorded: September 2009,   views: 8414

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Different brain areas process various aspects of information in parallel as well as segregated way. It is not known, how is this information integrated into a unitary percept or action. The binding problem is one of the key problems in understanding brain function. Synchronized oscillatory activity of neurons is one possible mechanism of the functional integration of different communicating brain areas. The binding has been well-studied in the visual system, but it could also serve as a mechanism in visuomotor integration or functional coupling present with other brain processes and behavioural modes (perception, complex motor behaviour, selective attention, learning, working memory, etc.). Interregional synchronization of the electroencephalographic (EEG) signal can be determined by EEG coherence analysis. In the article we present a research example of coherence changes in a visuomotor task. During this task, coherence between visual and motor brain areas increased. This might reflect functional coupling between those areas, but it could also be influenced by other cognitive processes (e.g. selective attention). Coherence analysis is suitable for studying integrative brain function. Because it measures only one of the possible mechanisms of integration, it offers promise especially when combined with other electrophysiological and functional imaging methods.

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