Medial prefrontal cortex generates frontal midline theta rhythm

Neuroreport. 1999 Mar 17;10(4):675-9. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199903170-00003.


Frontal midline theta rhythm (Fm theta) is a distinct theta activity of EEG in the frontal midline area that appears during concentrated performance of mental tasks in normal subjects and reflects focused attentional processing. To tomographically visualize the source current density distributions of Fm theta, we recorded Fm theta by using a 64-channel whole-head MEG system from four healthy subjects, and applied a new analysis method, synthetic aperture magnetometry (SAM), an adaptive beam forming method. Fm theta was observed in the MEG signals over the bilateral frontal regions. SAM analysis showed bilateral medial prefrontal cortices, including anterior cingulate cortex, as the source of Fm theta. This result suggests that focused attention is mainly related to medial prefrontal cortex.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Mental Processes / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Theta Rhythm*