A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Interhemispheric transfer of working memories
2021. Scott L. Brincat (et al.). Neuron 109 (6), 1055-1066Article
Visual working memory (WM) storage is largely independent between the left and right visual hemifields/cerebral hemispheres, yet somehow WM feels seamless. We studied how WM is integrated across hemifields by recording neural activity bilaterally from lateral prefrontal cortex. An instructed saccade during the WM delay shifted the remembered location from one hemifield to the other. Before the shift, spike rates and oscillatory power showed clear signatures of memory laterality. After the shift, the lateralization inverted, consistent with transfer of the memory trace from one hemisphere to the other. Transferred traces initially used different neural ensembles from feedforward-induced ones, but they converged at the end of the delay. Around the time of transfer, synchrony between the two prefrontal hemispheres peaked in theta and beta frequencies, with a directionality consistent with memory trace transfer. This illustrates how dynamics between the two cortical hemispheres can stitch together WM traces across visual hemifields.
Odor identity can be extracted from the reciprocal connectivity between olfactory bulb and piriform cortex in humans
2021. Behzad Iravani (et al.). NeuroImage 237Article
Neuronal oscillations route external and internal information across brain regions. In the olfactory system, the two central nodes -the olfactory bulb (OB) and the piriform cortex (PC) -communicate with each other via neural oscillations to shape the olfactory percept. Communication between these nodes have been well characterized in non-human animals but less is known about their role in the human olfactory system. Using a recently developed and validated EEG-based method to extract signals from the OB and PC sources, we show in healthy human participants that there is a bottom-up information flow from the OB to the PC in the beta and gamma frequency bands, while top-down information from the PC to the OB is facilitated by delta and theta oscillations. Importantly, we demonstrate that there was enough information to decipher odor identity above chance from the low gamma in the OB-PC oscillatory circuit as early as 100 ms after odor onset. These data further our understanding of the critical role of bidirectional information flow in human sensory systems to produce perception. However, future studies are needed to determine what specific odor information is extracted and communicated in the information exchange.
Achieving stable dynamics in neural circuits
2020. Leo Kozachkov (et al.). PloS Computational Biology 16 (8)Article
The brain consists of many interconnected networks with time-varying, partially autonomous activity. There are multiple sources of noise and variation yet activity has to eventually converge to a stable, reproducible state (or sequence of states) for its computations to make sense. We approached this problem from a control-theory perspective by applying contraction analysis to recurrent neural networks. This allowed us to find mechanisms for achieving stability in multiple connected networks with biologically realistic dynamics, including synaptic plasticity and time-varying inputs. These mechanisms included inhibitory Hebbian plasticity, excitatory anti-Hebbian plasticity, synaptic sparsity and excitatory-inhibitory balance. Our findings shed light on how stable computations might be achieved despite biological complexity. Crucially, our analysis is not limited to analyzing the stability of fixed geometric objects in state space (e.g points, lines, planes), but rather the stability of state trajectories which may be complex and time-varying.
Layer and rhythm specificity for predictive routing
2020. André M. Bastos (et al.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 117 (49), 31459-31469Article
In predictive coding, experience generates predictions that attenuate the feeding forward of predicted stimuli while passing forward unpredicted “errors.” Different models have suggested distinct cortical layers, and rhythms implement predictive coding. We recorded spikes and local field potentials from laminar electrodes in five cortical areas (visual area 4 [V4], lateral intraparietal [LIP], posterior parietal area 7A, frontal eye field [FEF], and prefrontal cortex [PFC]) while monkeys performed a task that modulated visual stimulus predictability. During predictable blocks, there was enhanced alpha (8 to 14 Hz) or beta (15 to 30 Hz) power in all areas during stimulus processing and prestimulus beta (15 to 30 Hz) functional connectivity in deep layers of PFC to the other areas. Unpredictable stimuli were associated with increases in spiking and in gamma-band (40 to 90 Hz) power/connectivity that fed forward up the cortical hierarchy via superficial-layer cortex. Power and spiking modulation by predictability was stimulus specific. Alpha/beta power in LIP, FEF, and PFC inhibited spiking in deep layers of V4. Area 7A uniquely showed increases in high-beta (∼22 to 28 Hz) power/connectivity to unpredictable stimuli. These results motivate a conceptual model, predictive routing. It suggests that predictive coding may be implemented via lower-frequency alpha/beta rhythms that “prepare” pathways processing-predicted inputs by inhibiting feedforward gamma rhythms and associated spiking.
Preservation and Changes in Oscillatory Dynamics across the Cortical Hierarchy
2020. Mikael Lundqvist, Andre M. Bastos, Earl K. Miller. Journal of cognitive neuroscience 32 (10), 2024-2035Article
Theta (2-8 Hz), alpha (8-12 Hz), beta (12-35 Hz), and gamma (>35 Hz) rhythms are ubiquitous in the cortex. However, there is little understanding of whether they have similar properties and functions in different cortical areas because they have rarely been compared across them. We record neuronal spikes and local field potentials simultaneously at several levels of the cortical hierarchy in monkeys. Theta, alpha, beta, and gamma oscillations had similar relationships to spiking activity in visual, parietal, and prefrontal cortices. However, the frequencies in all bands increased up the cortical hierarchy. These results suggest that these rhythms have similar inhibitory and excitatory functions across the cortex. We discuss how the increase in frequencies up the cortical hierarchy may help sculpt cortical flow and processing.