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      Different frequencies for different scales of cortical integration: from local gamma to long range alpha/theta synchronization.

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          Abstract

          Cortical activity and perception are not driven by the external stimulus alone; rather sensory information has to be integrated with various other internal constraints such as expectations, recent memories, planned actions, etc. The question is how large scale integration over many remote and size-varying processes might be performed by the brain. We have conducted a series of EEG recordings during processes thought to involve neuronal assemblies of varying complexity. While local synchronization during visual processing evolved in the gamma frequency range, synchronization between neighboring temporal and parietal cortex during multimodal semantic processing evolved in a lower, the beta1 (12-18 Hz) frequency range, and long range fronto-parietal interactions during working memory retention and mental imagery evolved in the theta and alpha (4-8 Hz, 8-12 Hz) frequency range. Thus, a relationship seems to exist between the extent of functional integration and the synchronization-frequency. In particular, long-range interactions in the alpha and theta ranges seem specifically involved in processing of internal mental context, i.e. for top-down processing. We propose that large scale integration is performed by synchronization among neurons and neuronal assemblies evolving in different frequency ranges.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Int J Psychophysiol
          International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology
          0167-8760
          0167-8760
          Dec 01 2000
          : 38
          : 3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Institute of Neuroinformatics, ETH/University Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 190, CH 8057, Zurich, Switzerland. vonstein.astrid@nch.unizh.ch
          Article
          S0167876000001720
          11102669
          56b824ae-5a55-4586-b697-2f8e92175478

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