Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Deactivation in Monkeys Reduces Preparatory Beta and Gamma Power in the Superior Colliculus

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Cognitive control requires the selection and maintenance of task-relevant stimulus–response associations, or rules. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been implicated by lesion, functional imaging, and neurophysiological studies to be involved in encoding rules, but the mechanisms by which it modulates other brain areas are poorly understood. Here, the functional relationship of the DLPFC with the superior colliculus (SC) was investigated by bilaterally deactivating the DLPFC while recording local field potentials (LFPs) in the SC in monkeys performing an interleaved pro- and antisaccade task. Event-related LFPs showed differences between pro- and antisaccades and responded prominently to stimulus presentation. LFP power after stimulus onset was higher for correct saccades than erroneous saccades. Deactivation of the DLPFC did not affect stimulus onset related LFP activity, but reduced high beta (20–30 Hz) and high gamma (60–150 Hz) power during the preparatory period for both pro- and antisaccades. Spike rate during the preparatory period was positively correlated with gamma power and this relationship was attenuated by DLPFC deactivation. These results suggest that top-down control of the SC by the DLPFC may be mediated by beta oscillations.

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