High frequency gamma activity in the left hippocampus predicts visual object naming performance


  • Hamame Carlos M.
  • Alario F. -Xavier
  • Llorens Anaïs
  • Liégeois-Chauvel Catherine
  • Trebuchon-da Fonseca Agnès

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Access to an object's name requires the retrieval of an arbitrary association between it's identity and a word-label. The hippocampus is essential in retrieving arbitrary associations, and thus could be involved in retrieving the link between an object and its name. To test this hypothesis we recorded the iEEG signal from epileptic patients, directly implanted in the hippocampus, while they performed a picture naming task. High-frequency broadband gamma (50-150 Hz) responses were computed as an index of population-level spiking activity. Our results show, for the first time, single-trial hippocampal dynamics between visual confrontation and naming. Remarkably, the latency of the hippocampal response predicts naming latency, while inefficient hippocampal activation is associated with ``tip-of-the-tongue'' states (a failure to retrieve the name of a recognized object) suggesting that the hippocampus is an active component of the naming network and that its dynamics are closely related to efficient word production. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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