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Dynamic changes in brain functional connectivity during concurrent dual-task performance.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2011
Author Cocchi Luca, Zalesky Andrew, Toepel Ulrike, Whitford Thomas J, De-Lucia Marzia, Murray Micah M, Carter Olivia,
Project Dialogs between Brain Waves: The Organization of Neuronal Oscillations’ Interdependencies in the Human Brain
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal PloS one
Volume (Issue) 6(11)
Page(s) 28301 - 28301
Title of proceedings PloS one
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0028301


This study investigated the spatial, spectral, temporal and functional proprieties of functional brain connections involved in the concurrent execution of unrelated visual perception and working memory tasks. Electroencephalography data was analysed using a novel data-driven approach assessing source coherence at the whole-brain level. Three connections in the beta-band (18-24 Hz) and one in the gamma-band (30-40 Hz) were modulated by dual-task performance. Beta-coherence increased within two dorsofrontal-occipital connections in dual-task conditions compared to the single-task condition, with the highest coherence seen during low working memory load trials. In contrast, beta-coherence in a prefrontal-occipital functional connection and gamma-coherence in an inferior frontal-occipitoparietal connection was not affected by the addition of the second task and only showed elevated coherence under high working memory load. Analysis of coherence as a function of time suggested that the dorsofrontal-occipital beta-connections were relevant to working memory maintenance, while the prefrontal-occipital beta-connection and the inferior frontal-occipitoparietal gamma-connection were involved in top-down control of concurrent visual processing. The fact that increased coherence in the gamma-connection, from low to high working memory load, was negatively correlated with faster reaction time on the perception task supports this interpretation. Together, these results demonstrate that dual-task demands trigger non-linear changes in functional interactions between frontal-executive and occipitoparietal-perceptual cortices.