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Silence is golden: transient neural deactivation in the prefrontal cortex during attentive reading.

Abstract : It is becoming increasingly clear that attention-demanding tasks engage not only activation of specific cortical regions but also deactivation of other regions that could interfere with the task at hand. At the same time, electrophysiological studies in animals and humans have found that the participation of cortical regions to cognitive processes translates into local synchronization of rhythmic neural activity at frequencies above 40 Hz (so-called gamma-band synchronization). Such synchronization is seen as a potential facilitator of neural communication and synaptic plasticity. We found evidence that cognitive processes can also involve the disruption of gamma-band activity in high-order brain regions. Intracerebral electroencephalograms were recorded in 3 epileptic patients during 2 reading tasks. Visual presentation of words induced a strong deactivation in a broad (20-150 Hz) frequency range in the left ventral lateral prefrontal cortex, in parallel with gamma-band activations within the reading network, including Broca's area. The observed energy decrease in neural signals was reproducible across patients. It peaked around 500 ms after stimulus onset and appeared subject to attention-modulated amplification. Our results suggest that cognition might be mediated by a coordinated interaction between regional gamma-band synchronizations and desynchronizations, possibly reflecting enhanced versus reduced local neural communication.
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Contributor : Colin Deransart Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, April 24, 2009 - 11:09:51 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 3, 2022 - 5:46:04 PM

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Jean-Philippe Lachaux, Julien Jung, Nelly Mainy, J. C. Dreher, Olivier Bertrand, et al.. Silence is golden: transient neural deactivation in the prefrontal cortex during attentive reading.. Cerebral Cortex, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2008, 18 (2), pp.443-50. ⟨10.1093/cercor/bhm085⟩. ⟨inserm-00378404⟩



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