Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2006 Jul 26;26(30):7779-90.

Local field potential in cortical area MT: stimulus tuning and behavioral correlations.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5125, USA.


Low-frequency electrical signals like those that compose the local field potential (LFP) can be detected at substantial distances from their point of origin within the brain. It is thus unclear how useful the LFP might be for assessing local function, for example, on the spatial scale of cortical columns. We addressed this problem by comparing speed and direction tuning of LFPs obtained from middle temporal area MT with the tuning of multiunit (MU) activity recorded simultaneously. We found that the LFP can be well tuned for speed and direction and is highly correlated with that of MU activity, particularly for frequencies at and above the gamma band. LFP tuning is substantially poorer for lower frequencies, although tuning for direction extends to lower frequencies than does tuning for speed. Our data suggest that LFP signals at and above the gamma band reflect neural processing on the spatial scale of cortical columns, within a few hundred micrometers of the electrode tip. Consistent with this notion, we also found that frequencies at and above the gamma band measured during a speed discrimination task exhibit an effect known as "choice probability," which reveals a particularly close relationship between neural activity and behavioral choices. In the LFP, this signature of the perceptual choice comprises a shift in relative power from low-frequency bands (alpha and beta) to the gamma band. It remains to be determined how LFP choice probability, which is a temporal signature, is related to conventional choice probability effects observed in spike rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center