Alpha modulation in parietal and retrosplenial cortex correlates with navigation performance

Authors

  • Te-Cheng Chiu,

    1. Brain Research Center, University System of Taiwan, Hsinchu, Taiwan
    2. Department of Computer Science, National Chiao-Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
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  • Klaus Gramann,

    1. Brain Research Center, University System of Taiwan, Hsinchu, Taiwan
    2. Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
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  • Li-Wei Ko,

    1. Brain Research Center, University System of Taiwan, Hsinchu, Taiwan
    2. Department of Biological Science and Technology, National Chiao-Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
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  • Jeng-Ren Duann,

    1. Brain Research Center, University System of Taiwan, Hsinchu, Taiwan
    2. Biomedical Engineering Research Center, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwian
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  • Tzyy-Ping Jung,

    1. Brain Research Center, University System of Taiwan, Hsinchu, Taiwan
    2. Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
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  • Chin-Teng Lin

    1. Brain Research Center, University System of Taiwan, Hsinchu, Taiwan
    2. Department of Computer Science, National Chiao-Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
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  • This work was supported in part by the Aiming for the Top University Plan of National Chiao Tung University, the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, and by the UST-UCSD International Center of Excellence in Advanced Bioengineering sponsored by the Taiwan National Science Council I-RiCE Program under Grant Number: NSC-99-2911-I-009-101. This research was also sponsored in part by the Army Research Laboratory and was accomplished under Cooperative Agreement Number W911NF-10-2-0022. The views and the conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein. The first and second authors contributed equally to the manuscript.

Address correspondence to: Chin-Teng Lin, Ph.D., Brain Research Center, National Chiao-Tung University (NCTU), 1001 Ta-Hsueh Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan 300, ROC. E-mail: ctlin@mail.nctu.edu.tw

Abstract

The present study investigated the brain dynamics accompanying spatial navigation based on distinct reference frames. Participants preferentially using an allocentric or an egocentric reference frame navigated through virtual tunnels and reported their homing direction at the end of each trial based on their spatial representation of the passage. Task-related electroencephalographic (EEG) dynamics were analyzed based on independent component analysis (ICA) and subsequent clustering of independent components. Parietal alpha desynchronization during encoding of spatial information predicted homing performance for participants using an egocentric reference frame. In contrast, retrosplenial and occipital alpha desynchronization during retrieval covaried with homing performance of participants using an allocentric reference frame. These results support the assumption of distinct neural networks underlying the computation of distinct reference frames and reveal a direct relationship of alpha modulation in parietal and retrosplenial areas with encoding and retrieval of spatial information for homing behavior.

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