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J Neurosci. 2013 Jan 23;33(4):1535-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4217-12.2013.

On high-frequency field oscillations (>100 Hz) and the spectral leakage of spiking activity.

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Brain Institute, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte 59056, Brazil.


Recent reports converge to the idea that high-frequency oscillations in local field potentials (LFPs) represent multiunit activity. In particular, the amplitude of LFP activity above 100 Hz-commonly referred to as "high-gamma" or "epsilon" band-was found to correlate with firing rate. However, other studies suggest the existence of true LFP oscillations at this frequency range that are different from the well established ripple oscillations. Using multisite recordings of the hippocampus of freely moving rats, we show here that high-frequency LFP oscillations can represent either the spectral leakage of spiking activity or a genuine rhythm, depending on recording location. Both spike-leaked, spurious activity and true fast oscillations couple to theta phase; however, the two phenomena can be clearly distinguished by other key features, such as preferred coupling phase and spectral signatures. Our results argue against the idea that all high-frequency LFP activity stems from spike contamination and suggest avoiding defining brain rhythms solely based on frequency range.

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