Theta-gamma coordination between anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex indexes correct attention shifts
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
URL with Digital Object Identifier
Anterior cingulate and lateral prefrontal cortex (ACC/PFC) are believed to coordinate activity to flexibly prioritize the processing of goal-relevant over irrelevant information. This between-area coordination may be realized by common low-frequency excitability changes synchronizing segregated high-frequency activations. We tested this coordination hypothesis by recording in macaque ACC/PFC during the covert utilization of attention cues. We found robust increases of 5-10 Hz (theta) to 35-55 Hz (gamma) phase-amplitude correlation between ACC and PFC during successful attention shifts but not before errors. Cortical sites providing theta phases (i) showed a prominent cue-induced phase reset, (ii) were more likely in ACC than PFC, and (iii) hosted neurons with burst firing events that synchronized to distant gamma activity. These findings suggest that interareal theta-gamma correlations could follow mechanistically from a cue-triggered reactivation of rule memory that synchronizes theta across ACC/PFC.