Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Cybern. 2005 Jun;92(6):350-9. Epub 2005 May 17.

A field-theoretic approach to understanding scale-free neocortical dynamics.

Author information

Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3206, USA.


A mesoscopic field-theoretic approach is compared with neural network and brain imaging approaches to understanding brain dynamics. Analysis of high spatiotemporal resolution rabbit electroencephalogram (EEG) reveals neural fields in the form of spatial patterns in amplitude (AM) and phase (PM) modulation of gamma and beta carrier waves that serve to classify EEGs from trials with differing conditioned stimuli (CS+/-). Paleocortex exemplified by olfactory EEG has one AM-PM pattern at a time that forms by an input-dependent phase transition. Neocortex shows multiple overlapping AM-PM patterns before and during presentation of CSs. Modeling suggests that neocortex is stabilized in a scale-free state of self-organized criticality, enabling cooperative domains to form virtually instantaneously by phase transitions ranging in size from a few hypercolumns to an entire hemisphere. Self-organized local domains precede formation of global domains that supervene and contribute global modulations to local domains. This mechanism is proposed to explain Gestalt formation in perception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center