Formation of visual memories controlled by gamma power phase-locked to alpha oscillations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Dong Soo Lee
  • Eunjoo Kang
  • Hyejin Kang
  • Jarang Hahm
  • June Sic Kim
  • Chun Kee Chung
  • Haiteng Jiang
  • Joachim Gross

External organisations

  • Seoul National University
  • Kangwon National University
  • University of Münster


Neuronal oscillations provide a window for understanding the brain dynamics that organize the flow of information from sensory to memory areas. While it has been suggested that gamma power reflects feedforward processing and alpha oscillations feedback control, it remains unknown how these oscillations dynamically interact. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) data was acquired from healthy subjects who were cued to either remember or not remember presented pictures. Our analysis revealed that in anticipation of a picture to be remembered, alpha power decreased while the cross-frequency coupling between gamma power and alpha phase increased. A measure of directionality between alpha phase and gamma power predicted individual ability to encode memory: stronger control of alpha phase over gamma power was associated with better memory. These findings demonstrate that encoding of visual information is reflected by a state determined by the interaction between alpha and gamma activity.


Original languageEnglish
Article number28092
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2016


  • Long-term memory, Sensory processing