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Thalamic modulation of high-frequency oscillating potentials in auditory cortex

Nature volume 383, pages 7881 (05 September 1996) | Download Citation

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Abstract

PERHAPS the most widely recognized but least understood electrophysiological activity of the cerebral cortex is its characteristic electrical oscillations. Recently, there have been efforts to understand the mechanisms underlying high-frequency gamma oscillations (40 Hz) because they may coordinate sensory processing between populations of cortical cells1,2. High-resolution cortical recordings show that gamma oscillations are constrained to sensory cortex3–5, that they occur independently in auditory and somatosensory cortex4, and that they are phase-locked between primary and secondary sensory cortex5. As yet, the mechanism of their neurogenesis is unknown2. Whereas cortical neurons can produce gamma oscillations without subcortical input6–9, they may also be modulated by the thalamus10 and basal forebrain11. Here we report that the neural generator of gamma oscillations in auditory cortex seems to be intracortical, serving to synchronize interactions between the primary and secondary areas. The acoustic thalamus directly modulates these oscillations, which are inhibited by stimulation of the dorsal and ventral divisions of the medial geniculate nucleus (MGd and MGv) and evoked by stimulation of the adjacent posterior intralaminar nucleus (PIL).

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Psychology, C.B. 345, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309–345, USA

    • Daniel S. Barth
    •  & Kurt D. MacDonald

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https://doi.org/10.1038/383078a0

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