Theta coupling in the human electroencephalogram during a working memory task

Paul Sauseng, Wolfgang Klimesch, Michael Doppelmayr, Simon Hanslmayr, Manuel Schabus, Walter R Gruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Citations (Scopus)


The role of coupling between prefrontal and temporo-parietal brain areas within the theta frequency range of the human electroencephalogram was explored in a working memory task. During encoding of visual information higher theta amplitudes were observed in the right compared to the left hemisphere. Retrieval of visuospatial and verbal information elicited a more bilateral activation pattern. These effects were accompanied by theta coupling between dorsolateral prefrontal and right posterior temporal electrode sites during encoding. During retrieval prefrontal and bilateral temporo-parietal brain areas were coupled. These results support the idea of working memory functions being dependent on distributed prefrontal-temporal networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-6
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2004


  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biological Clocks
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Nerve Net
  • Neural Pathways
  • Parietal Lobe
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time
  • Reference Values
  • Space Perception
  • Temporal Lobe
  • Theta Rhythm
  • Verbal Behavior


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