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Trends Neurosci. 2007 Apr;30(4):150-8. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

New vistas for alpha-frequency band oscillations.

Author information

  • 1Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki P.O. Box 56, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. Satu.Palva@helsinki.fi

Abstract

The amplitude of alpha-frequency band (8-14 Hz) activity in the human electroencephalogram is suppressed by eye opening, visual stimuli and visual scanning, whereas it is enhanced during internal tasks, such as mental calculation and working memory. alpha-Frequency band oscillations have hence been thought to reflect idling or inhibition of task-irrelevant cortical areas. However, recent data on alpha-amplitude and, in particular, alpha-phase dynamics posit a direct and active role for alpha-frequency band rhythmicity in the mechanisms of attention and consciousness. We propose that simultaneous alpha-, beta- (14-30 Hz) and gamma- (30-70 Hz) frequency band oscillations are required for unified cognitive operations, and hypothesize that cross-frequency phase synchrony between alpha, beta and gamma oscillations coordinates the selection and maintenance of neuronal object representations during working memory, perception and consciousness.

PMID:
17307258
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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