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Gamma Oscillations Correlate With Working Memory Load in Humans

By Marc Howard Daniel, Daniel S. Rizzuto, Jeremy B. Caplan, Joseph R. Madsen, John Lisman, Richard Aschenbrenner-scheibe, Andreas Schulze-bonhage, Michael J. Kahana, Corresponding Marc and W. Howard


Non-invasive functional imaging of human cortex implicates a diverse network of brain regions supporting working memory---the capacity to hold and manipulate information for short periods of time. Although we are beginning to map out the brain networks supporting working memory, little is known about the physiological basis of working memory. We analyzed subdural recordings from epileptic patients as they performed a working memory task. Spectral analyses reveal that gamma (30-60 Hz) oscillations increase approximately linearly with memory load, tracking closely with memory load over the course of the trial. This constitutes the first evidence that gamma oscillations, widely implicated in perceptual processes, support the maintenance of multiple items in working memory

Year: 2003
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