DOI: 10.1101/302588Apr 17, 2018Paper

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

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Sankaraleengam AlagapanFlavio Frohlich


The neural substrates of working memory are spread across prefrontal, parietal and cingulate 2 cortices and are thought to be coordinated through low frequency cortical oscillations in the theta 3 (3 to 8 Hz) and alpha (8 to 12 Hz) frequency bands. While the functional role of many subregions 4 have been elucidated using neuroimaging studies, the role of superior frontal gyrus (SFG) is not 5 yet clear. Here, we combined electrocorticography and direct cortical stimulation in three patients 6 implanted with subdural electrodes to assess if superior frontal gyrus is indeed involved in working 7 memory. We found left SFG exhibited task-related modulation of oscillations in the theta and alpha 8 frequency bands specifically during the encoding epoch. Stimulation at the frequency matched to 9 the endogenous oscillations resulted in reduced reaction times in all three participants. Our results 10 support the causal role of SFG in working memory and suggest that SFG may coordinate working 11 memory through low-frequency oscillations thus bolstering the feasibility of targeting oscillations 12 for restoring cognitive function.

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