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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2012 Dec;14(4):345-67.

Brain rhythms and neural syntax: implications for efficient coding of cognitive content and neuropsychiatric disease.

Author information

1
NYU Neuroscience Institute, School of Medicine, New York University, New York, NY 10016, USA. gyorgy.buzsaki@nyumc.org

Abstract

in English, French, Spanish

The perpetual activity of the cerebral cortex is largely supported by the variety of oscillations the brain generates, spanning a number of frequencies and anatomical locations, as well as behavioral correlates. First, we review findings from animal studies showing that most forms of brain rhythms are inhibition-based, producing rhythmic volleys of inhibitory inputs to principal cell populations, thereby providing alternating temporal windows of relatively reduced and enhanced excitability in neuronal networks. These inhibition-based mechanisms offer natural temporal frames to group or "chunk" neuronal activity into cell assemblies and sequences of assemblies, with more complex multi-oscillation interactions creating syntactical rules for the effective exchange of information among cortical networks. We then review recent studies in human psychiatric patients demonstrating a variety alterations in neural oscillations across all major psychiatric diseases, and suggest possible future research directions and treatment approaches based on the fundamental properties of brain rhythms.

KEYWORDS:

action potential; assembly; brain; coding; neuron; oscillation; psychiatry

PMID:
23393413
PMCID:
PMC3553572
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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