Communication Through Coherence by Means of Cross-frequency Coupling

Joaquín González, Matias Cavelli, Alejandra Mondino, Nicolás Rubido, Adriano Bl Tort* (Corresponding Author), Pablo Torterolo* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The theory of communication through coherence (CTC) posits the synchronization of brain oscillations as a key mechanism for information sharing and perceptual binding. In a parallel literature, hippocampal theta activity (4-10 Hz) has been shown to modulate the appearance of neocortical fast gamma oscillations (100-150 Hz), a phenomenon known as cross-frequency coupling (CFC). Even though CFC has also been previously associated with information routing, it remains to be determined whether it directly relates to CTC. In particular, for the theta-fast gamma example at hand, a critical question is to know if the phase of the theta cycle influences gamma synchronization across the neocortex. To answer this question, we combined CFC (modulation index) and CTC (phase-locking value) metrics in order to detect the modulation of the cross-regional high-frequency synchronization by the phase of slower oscillations. Upon applying this method, we found that the inter-hemispheric synchronization of neocortical fast gamma during REM sleep depends on the instantaneous phase of the theta rhythm. These results show that CFC is likely to aid long-range information transfer by facilitating the synchronization of faster rhythms, thus consistent with classical CTC views.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
Early online date12 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

This study was supported by the Programa de Desarrollode Ciencias Ba ́sicas, PEDECIBA; Agencia Nacional de Investigacio ́neInnovacio ́n(ANII),(FCE_1_2017_1_136550) and the Comisio ́n Sectorialde Investigacio ́n Cientı ́fica (CSIC) I+D-2016-589 grant from Uruguay. J.G was supported by CAP (Comisio ́nAcade ́mica de Posgrado). N.R. acknowledges the CSIC group grant CSIC2018 - FID 13 - Grupo ID 722. A.B.L.T. was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientı ́fico e Tecnolo ́gico (CNPq) and Coordenac ̧a ̃o de Aperfeic ̧oamento de Pessoal de Nı ́velSuperior (CAPES), Brazil.

J.G., M.C and P.T. designed the experiments; J.G., M.C.and A.M conducted the experiments; J.G. and A.B.L.T.wrote analysis software; J.G. analyzed the data; J.G.,M.C., N.R., A.B.L.T. and P.T. were involved in the discussion and interpretation of the results; J.G, A.B.L.T. and P.T. wrote the manuscript.


  • in vivoelectrophysiology
  • systems neuroscience
  • synchrony
  • neuronal oscillations
  • phase-amplitude coupling
  • REM sleep
  • EEG
  • in vivo electrophysiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Communication Through Coherence by Means of Cross-frequency Coupling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this