Larger interregional synchrony is associated with greater behavioral success in a complex sensory integration task in humans

Successful behavior depends on effective communication between distant brain regions. Moreover, disturbance of effective communication can cause neurological symptoms like apraxia, dyslexia or object agnosia. Interregional communication can be assessed by coherence analysis of synchronized neuronal oscillations, and has been referred to as synchrony or "binding". The concept of synchrony as a means of information coding is attractive, but its functional relevance has been challenged. We hypothesized that if synchrony is functionally relevant in humans, then more synchrony should determine better behavioral performance. Here, we show in a visuotactile integration task that the amount of low-frequency (7-13Hz), long-range electroencephalographic coherence between visual and sensorimotor cortex is significantly correlated with the level of performance. Trials with highest coherences were the most successful ones and vice versa in the absence of differences in regional activation measured as task-related spectral power. In summary, quantitatively linking the amount of long-range synchrony with the degree of behavioral success in humans, the present data suggest that the ability to generate topographically specific synchrony of high amplitude is functionally relevant for behavioral success. They also raise the possibility that the magnitude of regional activation is less representative of the efficacy of brain functioning than interregional synchrony.

Published in:
Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 15, 5, 670-8
Oxford University Press
Clinical Trial

 Record created 2016-12-30, last modified 2018-03-17

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