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Neuroimage. 2009 Apr 1;45(2):477-89. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.12.003. Epub 2008 Dec 16.

Differential visually-induced gamma-oscillations in human cerebral cortex.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


Using intracranial electrocorticography, we determined how cortical gamma-oscillations (50-150 Hz) were induced by different visual tasks in nine children with focal epilepsy. In all children, full-field stroboscopic flash-stimuli induced gamma-augmentation in the anterior-medial occipital cortex (starting on average at 31 ms after stimulus presentation) and subsequently in the lateral-polar occipital cortex; minimal gamma-augmentation was noted in the inferior occipital-temporal cortex; occipital gamma-augmentation was followed by gamma-attenuation in three children. Central-field picture-stimuli induced sustained gamma-augmentation in the lateral-polar occipital cortex (starting on average at 69 ms) and subsequently in the inferior occipital-temporal cortex in all children and in the posterior frontal cortex in three children; the anterior-medial occipital cortex showed no gamma-augmentation but rather gamma-attenuation. Electrical stimulation of the anterior-medial occipital cortex induced a phosphene in the peripheral-field or eye deviation to the contralateral side, whereas that of the lateral-polar occipital cortex induced a phosphene in the central-field. In summary, full-field, simple and short-lasting visual information might be preferentially processed by the anterior-medial occipital cortex, and subsequently by the lateral-polar occipital cortex. Gamma-attenuation following augmentation in the striate cortex might be associated with a relative refractory-period to flash-stimuli or feed-forward inhibition by other areas. Central-field complex visual information might be processed by a network involving the lateral-polar occipital cortex and the inferior occipital-temporal cortex. A plausible interpretation of posterior frontal gamma-augmentation during central-field picture stimuli includes activation of the frontal-eye-field for visual searching. Gamma-attenuation in the anterior-medial occipital cortex during central-field picture-stimuli might be associated with relative inattention to the peripheral visual field during central-field object visualization.

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