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Cereb Cortex. 2007 Feb;17(2):400-14. Epub 2006 Mar 17.

Detection of active and silent states in neocortical neurons from the field potential signal during slow-wave sleep.

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Department of Neurophysiology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.


Oscillations of the local field potentials (LFPs) or electroencephalogram (EEG) at frequencies below 1 Hz are a hallmark of the slow-wave sleep. However, the timing of the underlying cellular events, which is an alternation of active and silent states of thalamocortical network, can be assessed only approximately from the phase of slow waves. Is it possible to detect, using the LFP or EEG, the timing of each episode of cellular activity or silence? With simultaneous recordings of the LFP and intracellular activity of 2-3 neocortical cells, we show that high-gamma-range (20-100 Hz) components in the LFP have significantly higher power when cortical cells are in active states as compared with silent-state periods. Exploiting this difference we have developed a new method, which uses the LFP signal to detect episodes of activity and silence of neocortical neurons. The method allows robust, reliable, and precise detection of timing of each episode of activity and silence of the neocortical network. It works with both surface and depth EEG, and its performance is affected little by the EEG prefiltering during recording. These results open new perspectives for studying differential operation of neural networks during periods of activity and silence, which rapidly alternate on the subsecond scale.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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