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J Neurosci. 2003 Dec 17;23(37):11741-52.

Synchronous, focally modulated beta-band oscillations characterize local field potential activity in the striatum of awake behaving monkeys.

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Department of Exercise Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada H4B 1R6.


Synchronous oscillatory activity has been observed in a range of neural networks from invertebrate nervous systems to the human frontal cortex. In humans and other primates, sensorimotor regions of the neocortex exhibit synchronous oscillations in the beta-frequency band (approximately 15-30 Hz), and these are also prominent in the cerebellum, a brainstem sensorimotor region. However, recordings in the basal ganglia have suggested that such beta-band oscillations are not normally a primary feature of these structures. Instead, they become a dominant feature of neural activity in the basal ganglia in Parkinson's disease and in parkinsonian states induced by dopamine depletion in experimental animals. Here we demonstrate that when multiple electrodes are used to record local field potentials, 10-25 Hz oscillations can be readily detected in the striatum of normal macaque monkeys. These normally occurring oscillations are highly synchronous across large regions of the striatum. Furthermore, they are subject to dynamic modulation when monkeys perform a simple motor task to earn rewards. In the striatal region representing oculomotor activity, we found that small focal zones could pop in and out of synchrony as the monkeys made saccadic eye movements, suggesting that the broadly synchronous oscillatory activity interfaces with modular spatiotemporal patterns of task-related activity. We suggest that the background beta-band oscillations in the striatum could help to focus action-selection network functions of cortico-basal ganglia circuits.

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