# How to differentiate attentiveness, arousal and memory via gamma oscillations

I am planning an experiment using mice with in vivo extracellular recordings (and maybe also optogenetic stimulation). In these kinds of experiments, the mouse is getting a reward after executing a (short term) memory involved task.

I noticed that in the papers I read, it is not really possible to know if the observed $\gamma$-oscillations (for instance), derive from memory activation, or arousal (from thinking of the reward), or from attentiveness (from trying to execute the task correctly).

Are there any ideas or a good reference for this problem of distinguishing between these related cognitive activities?

Examples of experiments with humans will also help. Maybe not directly but will give some ideas about how these notions can be separated.

• They are factors that always operate and you should control them depending on the methodology and objectives. You should be more specific. I doubt that anyone can come to a conclusion about an experimental condition in which it is possible to discern between attentiveness, arousal and memory, for all possible experiments. – hexadecimal Jul 17 '17 at 14:28
• Could you please reference the papers you have read saying that "it is not really possible to know if the observed γ-oscillations (for instance), derive from memory activation, or arousal (from thinking of the reward), or from attemtivness [sic] (from trying to execute the task correctly)."? – Chris Rogers Jul 18 '17 at 14:12
• the answer to this question would be a majorly important piece of work. not something that is already known. – honi Jul 18 '17 at 18:17
• But interesting nonetheless. Have there been no studies using paradigms trying to discern between even two factors? – Robin Kramer Jul 20 '17 at 13:26