Pre-cue fronto-occipital alpha phase and distributed cortical oscillations predict failures of cognitive control.
Cognitive control is required for correct performance on antisaccade tasks, including the ability to inhibit an externally driven ocular motor response (a saccade to a peripheral stimulus) in favor of an internally driven ocular motor goal (a saccade directed away from a peripheral stimulus). Healthy humans occasionally produce errors during antisaccade tasks, but the mechanisms associated with such failures of cognitive control are uncertain. Most research on cognitive control failures focuses on poststimulus processing, although a growing body of literature highlights a role of intrinsic brain activity in perceptual and cognitive performance. The current investigation used dense array electroencephalography and distributed source analyses to examine brain oscillations across a wide frequency bandwidth in the period before antisaccade cue onset. Results highlight four important aspects of ongoing and preparatory brain activations that differentiate error from correct antisaccade trials: (1) ongoing oscillatory beta (20-30 Hz) power in anterior cingulate before trial initiation (lower for error trials); (2) instantaneous phase of ongoing alpha/theta (7 Hz) in frontal and occipital cortices immediately before trial initiation (opposite between trial types); (3) gamma power (35-60 Hz) in posterior parietal cortex 100 ms before cue onset (greater for error trials); and (4) phase locking of alpha (5-12 Hz) in parietal and occipital cortices immediately before cue onset (lower for error trials). These findings extend recently reported effects of pre-trial alpha phase on perception to cognitive control processes and help identify the cortical generators of such phase effects.
Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience, Bio-Imaging Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.
SourceThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 32:20 2012 May 16 pg 7034-41
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural