ESI Lecture by Benjamin Dann

Oscillatory synchrony is central for neuronal network communication but not for the population response in the monkey fronto-parietal grasping circuit

The cognition- and behavior-related population response is hypothesized to be shaped by the brain network structure and must be dynamically coordinated to allow for flexible information processing. However, this interplay is hardly understood so far and is best studied at the level of neuronal networks where all three network features are simultaneously accessible. We extracted the single trial population response structure, the network communication structure, and the neuronal oscillatory synchronization from the same simultaneously recorded neuronal population across the fronto-parietal grasping circuit, while two monkeys performed a flexible visuomotor decision task. The response and the communication structure turned out to be orthogonal, with oscillatory synchronized neurons central for the inter-area neuronal communication but not for the population response. Based on these results we hypothesize a continuum in the population, in which some neurons strongly encode task relevant information but contribute little to the network communication (“information hubs”), whereas other oscillatory synchronized neurons hardly encode task-related information but are crucial for network communication (“oscillatory coordinator hubs”).