FEF-controlled alpha delay activity precedes stimulus-induced gamma-band activity in visual cortex

Tzvetan Popov, Sabine Kastner, Ole Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Recent findings in the visual system of nonhuman primates have demonstrated an important role of gamma-band activity (40 -100 Hz) in the feedforward flow of sensory information, whereas feedback control appears to be established dynamically by oscillations in the alpha (8 -13 Hz) and beta (13-18 Hz) bands (van Kerkoerle et al., 2014; Bastos et al., 2015). It is not clear, however, how alpha oscillations are controlled and how they interact with the flow of visual information mediated by gamma-band activity. Using noninvasive human MEG recordings in subjects performing a visuospatial attention task, we show that fluctuations in alpha power during a delay period in a spatial attention task preceded subsequent stimulus-driven gamma-band activity. Importantly, these interactions correlated with behavioral performance. Using Granger analysis, we further show that the right frontal-eye field (rFEF) exerted feedback control of the visual alpha oscillations. Our findings suggest that alpha oscillations controlled by the FEF route cortical information flow by modulating gamma-band activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4117-4127
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 12 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • Alpha gamma oscillations
  • Executive control
  • Flanker task
  • Functional connectivity
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Prefrontal control


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