, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 1-8,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 05 Aug 2010

Information Transfer During a Transitive Reasoning Task


For about two decades now, the localization of the brain regions involved in reasoning processes is being investigated through fMRI studies, and it is known that for a transitive form of reasoning the frontal and parietal regions are most active. In contrast, less is known about the information exchange during the performance of such complex tasks. In this study, the propagation of brain activity during a transitive reasoning task was investigated and compared to the propagation during a simple memory task. We studied EEG transmission patterns obtained for physiological indicators of brain activity and determined whether there are frequency bands specifically related to this type of cognitive operations. The analysis was performed by means of the directed transfer function. The transmission patterns were determined in the theta, alpha and gamma bands. The results show stronger transmissions in theta and alpha bands from frontal to parietal as well as within frontal regions in reasoning trials comparing to memory trials. The increase in theta and alpha transmissions was accompanied by flows in gamma band from right posterior to left posterior and anterior sites. These results are consistent with previous neuroimaging (fMRI) data concerning fronto-parietal regions involvement in reasoning and working memory processes and also provide new evidence for the executive role of frontal theta waves in organizing the cognition.