We simultaneously recorded the local field potential (LFP) in the thalamus and the electroencephalogram (EEG) on the scalp of 5 patients suffering from neurogenic pain, epilepsy and movement disorders. In an earlier study , we have investigated the slowing of EEG and the high thalamocortical coherence in the framework of thalamocortical dysrhythmia, the common underlying pathophysiology. The current study focuses on the effects of different cognitive conditions. When patients rested with eyes closed, a theta peak dominated the EEG spectra. The peak height was reduced upon opening the eyes, reminiscent of the classical alpha blocking. This peak reduction also appeared in the thalamic LFP recording. When patients activated their working memory by counting backwards, the theta peak increased in scalp EEG or in the LFP recorded in thalamic nuclei VA/VL. The coherence estimates between EEG and LFP ranged between 21% and 76% for different patients and cognitive conditions (mean: 50%). The involvement of both cortex and thalamus in working memory and the high thalamocortical coherence underline, in addition to cortico-cortical interactions, the importance of thalamocortical modules in the generation of higher cognitive functions.