I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2020 05 01



Neuronal activation in the human centromedian-parafascicular complex predicts cortical responses to behaviorally significant auditory events.


Beck A-K, Sandmann P, Dürschmid S, Schwabe K, Saryyeva A, Krauss JK
Neuroimage. 2020 05 01; 211:116583.
PMID: 32006682.


Studies with non-human primates have suggested an excitatory influence of the thalamus on the cerebral cortex, with the centromedian-parafascicular complex (CM-Pf) being particularly involved in processes of sensory event-driven attention and arousal. To define the involvement of the human CM-Pf in bottom-up and top-down auditory attention, we simultaneously recorded cortical EEG activity and intracranial local field potentials (LFPs) via electrodes implanted for deep brain stimulation for the treatment of neuropathic pain. The patients (N = 6) performed an auditory three-class oddball paradigm with frequent standard stimuli and two types of infrequent deviant stimuli (target and distractor). We found a parietal P3b to targets and a central P3a to distractors at the scalp level. Subcortical recordings in the CM-Pf revealed enhanced activation to targets compared to standards. Interarea-correlation analyses showed that activation in the CM-Pf predicted the generation of longer latency P3b scalp potentials specifically in the target condition. Our results provide first direct human evidence for a functional temporal relationship between target-related activation in the CM-Pf and an enhanced cortical target response. These results corroborate the hypothetical model of a cortico-basal ganglia loop system that switches from top-down to bottom-up mode in response to salient, task-relevant external events that are not predictable.