Phase-amplitude coupling between low-frequency scalp EEG and high-frequency intracranial EEG during working memory task

J Neural Eng. 2022 Apr 20;19(2). doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/ac63e9.


Objective. Revealing the relationship between simultaneous scalp electroencephalography (EEG) and intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) is of great importance for both neuroscientific research and translational applications. However, whether prominent iEEG features in the high-gamma band can be reflected by scalp EEG is largely unknown. To address this, we investigated the phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) phenomenon between the low-frequency band of scalp EEG and the high-gamma band of iEEG.Approach. We analyzed a simultaneous iEEG and scalp EEG dataset acquired under a verbal working memory paradigm from nine epilepsy subjects. The PAC values between pairs of scalp EEG channel and identified iEEG channel were explored. After identifying the frequency combinations and electrode locations that generated the most significant PAC values, we compared the PAC values of different task periods (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval) and memory loads.Main results. We demonstrated that the amplitude of high-gamma activities in the entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala was correlated to the delta or theta phase at scalp locations such as Cz and Pz. In particular, the frequency bin that generated the maximum PAC value centered at 3.16-3.84 Hz for the phase and 50-85 Hz for the amplitude. Moreover, our results showed that PAC values for the retrieval period were significantly higher than those of the encoding and maintenance periods, and the PAC was also influenced by the memory load.Significance. This is the first human simultaneous iEEG and scalp EEG study demonstrating that the amplitude of iEEG high-gamma components is associated with the phase of low-frequency components in scalp EEG. These findings enhance our understanding of multiscale neural interactions during working memory, and meanwhile, provide a new perspective to estimate intracranial high-frequency features with non-invasive neural recordings.

Keywords: high-gamma; iEEG; phase-amplitude coupling; scalp EEG; working memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electrocorticography* / methods
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Epilepsy* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Scalp