Relevance of EEG alpha and theta oscillations during task switching

P Sauseng, W Klimesch, R Freunberger, T Pecherstorfer, S Hanslmayr, M Doppelmayr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


In a task switching design, we investigated the question whether long-range theta coupling primarily reflects top-down control processes. Switch and stay trials did not differ with respect to memory load or global working memory (WM) demands. The results revealed significantly stronger theta coupling (in a range of 4-7 Hz) between prefrontal and posterior regions during switch as compared to stay trials. Power differences, reflecting more local effects, were largest in the upper alpha band (10-13 Hz) and over posterior brain areas, possibly reflecting long-term memory activation. The conclusion of the present study is that long-range coherent oscillatory activity in the theta band reflects top-down activation rather than global WM functions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Adult
  • Alpha Rhythm
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Theta Rhythm
  • Time Factors


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