Prestimulus frontal-parietal coherence predicts auditory detection performance in rats

J Neurophysiol. 2014 May;111(10):1986-2000. doi: 10.1152/jn.00781.2012. Epub 2014 Feb 26.


Electrophysiology in primates has implicated long-range neural coherence as a potential mechanism for enhancing sensory detection. To test whether local synchronization and long-range neural coherence support detection performance in rats, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) in frontal and parietal cortex while rats performed an auditory detection task. We observed significantly elevated power at multiple low frequencies (<15 Hz) preceding the target beep when the animal failed to respond to the signal (misses), in both frontal and parietal cortex. In terms of long-range coherence, we observed significantly more frontal-parietal coherence in the beta band (15-30 Hz) before the signal on misses compared with hits. This effect persisted after regressing away linear trends in the coherence values during a session, showing that the excess frontal-parietal beta coherence prior to misses cannot be explained by slow motivational changes during a session. In addition, a trend toward higher low-frequency (<15 Hz) coherence prior to miss trials compared with hits became highly significant when we rereferenced the LFPs to the mean voltage on each recording array, suggesting that the results are specific to our frontal and parietal areas. These results do not support a role for long-range frontal-parietal coherence or local synchronization in facilitating the detection of external stimuli. Rather, they extend to long-range frontal-parietal coherence previous findings that correlate local synchronization of low-frequency (<15 Hz) oscillations with inattention to external stimuli and synchronization of beta rhythms (15-30 Hz) with voluntary or involuntary prolongation of the current cognitive or motor state.

Keywords: attention; oscillation; synchrony.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Beta Rhythm
  • Cortical Synchronization
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Signal Detection, Psychological / physiology*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Time Factors