Visual Areas Exert Feedforward and Feedback Influences through Distinct Frequency Channels

Andre Moraes Bastos, Julien Vezoli, Conrado Arturo Bosman, Jan-Mathijs Schoffelen, Robert Oostenveld, Jarrod Robert Dowdall, Peter De Weerd, Henry Kennedy, Pascal Fries*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Visual cortical areas subserve cognitive functions by interacting in both feedforward and feedback directions. While feedforward influences convey sensory signals, feedback influences modulate feedforward signaling according to the current behavioral context. We investigated whether these interareal influences are subserved differentially by rhythmic synchronization. We correlated frequency-specific directed influences among 28 pairs of visual areas with anatomical metrics of the feedforward or feedback character of the respective interareal projections. This revealed that in the primate visual system, feedforward influences are carried by theta-band (similar to 4 Hz) and gamma-band (similar to 60-80 Hz) synchronization, and feedback influences by beta-band (similar to 14-18 Hz) synchronization. The functional directed influences constrain a functional hierarchy similar to the anatomical hierarchy, but exhibiting task-dependent dynamic changes in particular with regard to the hierarchical positions of frontal areas. Our results demonstrate that feedforward and feedback signaling use distinct frequency channels, suggesting that they subserve differential communication requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-401
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2015


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