March 2017, Vol. 29, No. 3, Pages 643-678
Selective Interareal Synchronization through Gamma Frequency Differences and Slower-Rhythm Gamma Phase Reset
The communication-through-coherence (CTC) hypothesis states that a sending group of neurons will have a particularly strong effect on a receiving group if both groups oscillate in a phase-locked (“coherent”) manner (Fries, 2005, 2015). Here, we consider a situation with two visual stimuli, one in the focus of attention and the other distracting, resulting in two sites of excitation at an early cortical area that project to a common site in a next area. Taking a modeler’s perspective, we confirm the workings of a mechanism that was proposed by Bosman et al. (2012) in the context of providing experimental evidence for the CTC hypothesis: a slightly higher gamma frequency of the attended sending site compared to the distracting site may cause selective interareal synchronization with the receiving site if combined with a slow-rhythm gamma phase reset. We also demonstrate the relevance of a slightly lower intrinsic frequency of the receiving site for this scenario. Moreover, we discuss conditions for a transition from bottom-up to top-down driven phase locking.