ERIC Number: EJ864122
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Good Vibrations: Cross-Frequency Coupling in the Human Nucleus Accumbens during Reward Processing
Cohen, Michael X.; Axmacher, Nikolai; Lenartz, Doris; Elger, Christian E.; Sturm, Volker; Schlaepfer, Thomas E.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, v21 n5 p875-889 May 2009
The nucleus accumbens is critical for reward-guided learning and decision-making. It is thought to "gate" the flow of a diverse range of information (e.g., rewarding, aversive, and novel events) from limbic afferents to basal ganglia outputs. Gating and information encoding may be achieved via cross-frequency coupling, in which bursts of high-frequency activity occur preferentially during specific phases of slower oscillations. We examined whether the human nucleus accumbens engages such a mechanism by recording electrophysiological activity directly from the accumbens of human patients undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery. Oscillatory activity in the gamma (40-80 Hz) frequency range was synchronized with the phase of simultaneous alpha (8-12 Hz) waves. Further, losing and winning small amounts of money elicited relatively increased gamma oscillation power prior to and following alpha troughs, respectively. Gamma-alpha synchronization may reflect an electrophysiological gating mechanism in the human nucleus accumbens, and the phase differences in gamma-alpha coupling may reflect a reward information coding scheme similar to phase coding.
Descriptors: Surgery, Patients, Rewards, Decision Making, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Learning Processes, Diagnostic Tests, Stimulation, Brain, Physiology, Neurology, Cognitive Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A