A human intracranial study of long-range oscillatory coherence across a frontal-occipital-hippocampal brain network during visual object processing
Visual object-recognition is thought to involve activation of a distributed network of cortical regions, nodes of which include the lateral prefrontal cortex, the so-called lateral occipital complex (LOC), and the hippocampal formation. It has been proposed that long-range oscillatory synchronization is a major mode of coordinating such a distributed network. Here, intracranial recordings were made from three humans as they performed a challenging visual object-recognition task that required them to identify barely recognizable fragmented line-drawings of common objects. Subdural electrodes were placed over the prefrontal cortex and LOC, and depth electrodes were placed within the hippocampal formation. Robust beta-band coherence was evident in all subjects during processing of recognizable fragmented images. Significantly lower coherence was evident during processing of unrecognizable scrambled versions of the same. The results indicate that transient beta-band oscillatory coupling between these three distributed cortical regions may reflect a mechanism for effective communication during visual object processing.