Phase-based coordination of hippocampal and neocortical oscillations during human sleep

Roy Cox*, Theodor Rüber, Bernhard P. Staresina, Juergen Fell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


During sleep, new memories undergo a gradual transfer from hippocampal (HPC) to neocortical (NC) sites. Precisely timed neural oscillations are thought to mediate this sleep-dependent memory consolidation, but exactly how sleep oscillations instantiate the HPC-NC dialog remains elusive. Employing overnight invasive electroencephalography in ten neurosurgical patients, we identified three broad classes of phase-based communication between HPC and lateral temporal NC. First, we observed interregional phase synchrony for non-rapid eye movement (NREM) spindles, and N2 and rapid eye movement (REM) theta activity. Second, we found asymmetrical N3 cross-frequency phase-amplitude coupling between HPC slow oscillations (SOs) and NC activity spanning the delta to high-gamma/ripple bands, but not in the opposite direction. Lastly, N2 theta and NREM spindle synchrony were themselves modulated by HPC SOs. These forms of interregional communication emphasize the role of HPC SOs in the HPC-NC dialog, and may offer a physiological basis for the sleep-dependent reorganization of mnemonic content.

Original languageEnglish
Article number176
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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