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Journal Article

Medial prefrontal theta phase coupling during spatial memory retrieval

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Kaplan, R., Bush, D., Bonnefond, M., Bandettini, P. A., Barnes, G. R., Doeller, C. F., et al. (2014). Medial prefrontal theta phase coupling during spatial memory retrieval. Hippocampus, 24(6), 656-665. doi:10.1002/hipo.22255.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-70D2-3
Memory retrieval is believed to involve a disparate network of areas, including medial prefrontal and medial temporal cortices, but the mechanisms underlying their coordination remain elusive. One suggestion is that oscillatory coherence mediates inter-regional communication, implicating theta phase and theta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling in mnemonic function across species. To examine this hypothesis, we used non-invasive whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) as participants retrieved the location of objects encountered within a virtual environment. We demonstrate that, when participants are cued with the image of an object whose location they must subsequently navigate to, there is a significant increase in 4-8 Hz theta power in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and the phase of this oscillation is coupled both with ongoing theta phase in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and perceptually induced 65-85 Hz gamma amplitude in medial parietal cortex. These results suggest that theta phase coupling between mPFC and MTL and theta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling between mPFC and neocortical regions may play a role in human spatial memory retrieval.