Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 170, Issue 3, pp 295–301

Relevance of EEG alpha and theta oscillations during task switching

  • P. Sauseng
  • W. Klimesch
  • R. Freunberger
  • T. Pecherstorfer
  • S. Hanslmayr
  • M. Doppelmayr
Research Article

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.

Keywords

Attention Central executive functions Coherence Long-term memory Top–down processes Working memory 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Sauseng
    • 1
  • W. Klimesch
    • 1
  • R. Freunberger
    • 1
  • T. Pecherstorfer
    • 1
  • S. Hanslmayr
    • 1
  • M. Doppelmayr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria, Europe

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