Communication Through Coherence by Means of Cross-frequency Coupling

Joaquín González, Matias Cavelli, Alejandra Mondino, Nicolás Rubido, Adriano Bl Tort* (Corresponding Author), Pablo Torterolo* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The theory of communication through coherence (CTC) posits the synchronization of brain oscillations as a key mechanism for information sharing and perceptual binding. In a parallel literature, hippocampal theta activity (4-10 Hz) has been shown to modulate the appearance of neocortical fast gamma oscillations (100-150 Hz), a phenomenon known as cross-frequency coupling (CFC). Even though CFC has also been previously associated with information routing, it remains to be determined whether it directly relates to CTC. In particular, for the theta-fast gamma example at hand, a critical question is to know if the phase of the theta cycle influences gamma synchronization across the neocortex. To answer this question, we combined CFC (modulation index) and CTC (phase-locking value) metrics in order to detect the modulation of the cross-regional high-frequency synchronization by the phase of slower oscillations. Upon applying this method, we found that the inter-hemispheric synchronization of neocortical fast gamma during REM sleep depends on the instantaneous phase of the theta rhythm. These results show that CFC is likely to aid long-range information transfer by facilitating the synchronization of faster rhythms, thus consistent with classical CTC views.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
Early online date12 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2020


  • in vivoelectrophysiology
  • systems neuroscience
  • synchrony
  • neuronal oscillations
  • phase-amplitude coupling
  • REM sleep
  • EEG
  • in vivo electrophysiology

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