Hippocampal and Orbitofrontal Theta Band Coherence Diminishes During Conflict Resolution

Austin M. Tang, Kuang Hsuan Chen, Roberto Martin Del Campo-Vera, Rinu Sebastian, Angad S. Gogia, George Nune, Charles Y. Liu, Spencer Kellis, Brian Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Coherence between the hippocampus and other brain structures has been shown with the theta frequency (3–8 Hz). Cortical decreases in theta coherence are believed to reflect response accuracy efficiency. However, the role of theta coherence during conflict resolution is poorly understood in noncortical areas. In this study, coherence between the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) was measured during a conflict resolution task. Although both brain areas have been previously implicated in the Stroop task, their interactions are not well understood. Methods: Nine patients were implanted with stereotactic electroencephalography contacts in the hippocampus and OFC. Local field potential data were sampled throughout discrete phases of a Stroop task. Coherence was calculated for hippocampal and OFC contact pairs, and coherence spectrograms were constructed for congruent and incongruent conditions. Coherence changes during cue processing were identified using a nonparametric cluster-permutation t test. Group analysis was conducted to compare overall theta coherence changes among conditions. Results: In 6 of 9 patients, decreased theta coherence was observed only during the incongruent condition (P < 0.05). Congruent theta coherence did not change from baseline. Group analysis showed lower theta coherence for the incongruent condition compared with the congruent condition (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Theta coherence between the hippocampus and OFC decreased during conflict. This finding supports existing theories that theta coherence desynchronization contributes to improved response accuracy and processing efficiency during conflict resolution. The underlying theta coherence observed between the hippocampus and OFC during conflict may be distinct from its previously observed role in memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e32-e44
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Coherence
  • Conflict processing
  • Orbitofrontal cortex
  • Stereotactic electroencephalography hippocampus
  • Stroop
  • Theta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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