Phase- and amplitude-coupling are tied by an intrinsic spatial organization but show divergent stimulus-related changes

Parham Mostame, Sepideh Sadaghiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Functional connectivity (FC), thought to provide a window into neural communication, has become a core focus in the study of brain function and cognition. However, there is no consensus on how to conceptualize large-scale FC in electrophysiology. Phase coupling (PhC), defined as coupling between the phases of two signals, reflects the synchronization of rhythmic oscillation cycles. Conversely, amplitude coupling (AmpC), defined as coupling between the envelopes of two signals, reflects correlation of activation amplitude. Despite quantifying different electrophysiological properties, the relationship between PhC and AmpC remains largely unknown. We assessed spatial and temporal correspondence between PhC and AmpC over 5 canonical frequency bands during a cue-based motor task using electrocorticography (ECoG) in 18 patients (8 females) undergoing presurgical monitoring. Significant correspondence between the spatial pattern of PhC and AmpC was detected during stimulus processing across all subjects and frequency bands (R ​≈ ​0.50 for theta, decreasing with increasing frequency). The cross-measure spatial correlation vanished almost entirely when accounting for the portion of FC equally present during pre- and post-stimulus intervals, suggesting that the spatial correlations reflect intrinsic FC independent of stimulus processing. Stimulus-related processing modulated both PhC and AmpC, however in a spatially independent manner. Examining the linear temporal correlation, we found no evidence for linear dependence between PhC and AmpC. Supporting the robustness of our findings, results extended to a verb generation task in a second ECoG dataset of 6 subjects. We conclude that PhC and AmpC reflect intrinsic FC similarly across space, but exhibit divergent stimulus-related FC changes over space and time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117051
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Amplitude coupling
  • Electrocorticography (ECoG)
  • Functional connectivity
  • Networks
  • Phase coupling
  • Synchrony

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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