, Volume 170, Issue 3, pp 295-301
Date: 30 Nov 2005

Relevance of EEG alpha and theta oscillations during task switching

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Abstract

In a task switching design, we investigated the question whether long-range theta coupling primarily reflects top–down control processes. Switch and stay trials did not differ with respect to memory load or global working memory (WM) demands. The results revealed significantly stronger theta coupling (in a range of 4–7 Hz) between prefrontal and posterior regions during switch as compared to stay trials. Power differences, reflecting more local effects, were largest in the upper alpha band (10–13 Hz) and over posterior brain areas, possibly reflecting long-term memory activation. The conclusion of the present study is that long-range coherent oscillatory activity in the theta band reflects top–down activation rather than global WM functions.