Nature Reviews Neuroscience 6, 285-296 (April 2005) | doi:10.1038/nrn1650

Normal and pathological oscillatory communication in the brain

Alfons Schnitzler1 & Joachim Gross1  About the authors


The huge number of neurons in the human brain are connected to form functionally specialized assemblies. The brain's amazing processing capabilities rest on local communication within and long-range communication between these assemblies. Even simple sensory, motor and cognitive tasks depend on the precise coordination of many brain areas. Recent improvements in the methods of studying long-range communication have allowed us to address several important questions. What are the common mechanisms that govern local and long-range communication and how do they relate to the structure of the brain? How does oscillatory synchronization subserve neural communication? And what are the consequences of abnormal synchronization?

Author affiliations

  1. Department of Neurology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Moorenstrasse 5, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.

Correspondence to: Alfons Schnitzler1 Email:


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