Right-lateralized brain oscillations in human spatial navigation

Joshua Jacobs, Igoro Korolev, Jeremy B. Caplan, Arne D. Ekstrom, Brian Litt, Gordon Baltuch, Itzhak Fried, Andreas Schulze-Bonhage, Joseph R. Madsen, Michael J. Kahana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


During spatial navigation, lesion and functional imaging studies suggest that the right hemisphere has a unique functional role. However, studies of direct human brain recordings have not reported interhemisphere differences in navigationrelated oscillatory activity. We investigated this apparent discrepancy using intracranial electroencephalographic recordings from 24 neurosurgical patients playing a virtual taxi driver game. When patients were virtually moving in the game, brain oscillations at various frequencies increased in amplitude compared with periods of virtual stillness. Using log-linear analysis, we analyzed the region and frequency specificities of this pattern and found that neocortical movement-related gamma oscillations (34-54 Hz) were significantly lateralized to the right hemisphere, especially in posterior neocortex. We also observed a similar right lateralization of gamma oscillations related to searching for objects at unknown virtual locations. Thus, our results indicate that gamma oscillations in the right neocortex play a special role in human spatial navigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-836
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Mental HealthR01MH061975


    Dive into the research topics of 'Right-lateralized brain oscillations in human spatial navigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this