High gamma activity distinguishes frontal cognitive control regions from adjacent cortical networks.


Though the lateral frontal cortex is broadly implicated in cognitive control, functional MRI (fMRI) studies suggest fine-grained distinctions within this region. To examine this question electrophysiologically, we placed electrodes on the lateral frontal cortex in patients undergoing awake craniotomy for tumor resection. Patients performed verbal tasks with a manipulation of attentional switching, a canonical control demand. Power in the high gamma range (70-250 Hz) distinguished electrodes based on their location within a high-resolution fMRI network parcellation of the frontal lobe. Electrodes within the canonical fronto-parietal control network showed increased power in the switching condition, a result absent in electrodes within default mode, language and somato-motor networks. High gamma results contrasted with spatially distributed power decreases in the beta range (12-30 Hz). These results confirm the importance of fine-scale functional distinctions within the human frontal lobe, and pave the way for increased precision of functional mapping in tumor surgeries.