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Published August 2021 | public
Journal Article

Hippocampal and Orbitofrontal Theta Band Coherence Diminishes During Conflict Resolution


Objective: Coherence between the hippocampus and other brain structures has been shown with the theta frequency (3–8 Hz). Cortical decreases in theta coherence are believed to reflect response accuracy efficiency. However, the role of theta coherence during conflict resolution is poorly understood in noncortical areas. In this study, coherence between the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) was measured during a conflict resolution task. Although both brain areas have been previously implicated in the Stroop task, their interactions are not well understood. Methods: Nine patients were implanted with stereotactic electroencephalography contacts in the hippocampus and OFC. Local field potential data were sampled throughout discrete phases of a Stroop task. Coherence was calculated for hippocampal and OFC contact pairs, and coherence spectrograms were constructed for congruent and incongruent conditions. Coherence changes during cue processing were identified using a nonparametric cluster-permutation t test. Group analysis was conducted to compare overall theta coherence changes among conditions. Results: In 6 of 9 patients, decreased theta coherence was observed only during the incongruent condition (P < 0.05). Congruent theta coherence did not change from baseline. Group analysis showed lower theta coherence for the incongruent condition compared with the congruent condition (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Theta coherence between the hippocampus and OFC decreased during conflict. This finding supports existing theories that theta coherence desynchronization contributes to improved response accuracy and processing efficiency during conflict resolution. The underlying theta coherence observed between the hippocampus and OFC during conflict may be distinct from its previously observed role in memory.

Additional Information

© 2021 Elsevier Inc. Received 2 February 2021, Accepted 6 April 2021, Available online 16 April 2021. CRediT authorship contribution statement: Austin M. Tang: Methodology, Writing - original draft, Writing - review & editing. Kuang-Hsuan Chen: Methodology, Investigation, Formal analysis, Writing - original draft, Writing - review & editing. Roberto Martin Del Campo-Vera: Investigation. Rinu Sebastian: Investigation, Formal analysis. Angad S. Gogia: Writing - review & editing. George Nune: Investigation, Writing - review & editing. Charles Y. Liu: Writing - review & editing. Spencer Kellis: Methodology, Investigation, Formal analysis, Writing - original draft, Writing - review & editing. Brian Lee: Methodology, Investigation, Formal analysis, Writing - original draft, Writing - review & editing.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 23, 2023