Low-frequency direct cortical stimulation of left superior frontal gyrus enhances working memory performance

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Sankaraleengam AlagapanFlavio Frӧhlich

Abstract

The neural substrates of working memory are spread across prefrontal, parietal and cingulate cortices and are thought to be coordinated through low frequency cortical oscillations in the theta (3-8 Hz) and alpha (8-12 Hz) frequency bands. While the functional role of many subregions have been elucidated using neuroimaging studies, the role of superior frontal gyrus (SFG) is not yet clear. Here, we combined electrocorticography and direct cortical stimulation in three patients implanted with subdural electrodes to assess if superior frontal gyrus is indeed involved in working memory. We found left SFG exhibited task-related modulation of oscillations in the theta and alpha frequency bands specifically during the encoding epoch. Stimulation at the frequency matched to the endogenous oscillations resulted in reduced reaction times in all three participants. Our results provide evidence for SFG playing a functional role in working memory and suggest that SFG may coordinate working memory through low-frequency oscillations thus bolstering the feasibility of using intracranial electric stimulation for restoring cognitive function.

Citations

Sep 2, 2020·The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism·Annelies Van't WesteindeSvetlana Lajic
Sep 20, 2020·The Journal of Physiological Sciences : JPS·Makoto FukuoHisashi Naito
May 12, 2021·The European Journal of Neuroscience·Daniel SchneiderMalte Wöstmann

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