Scientific Understanding of Consciousness
Consciousness as an Emergent Property of Thalamocortical Activity

Attentional Selection -- Entrainment of Neuronal Oscillations


Science 4 April 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5872, pp. 110 - 113

Entrainment of Neuronal Oscillations as a Mechanism of Attentional Selection

Peter Lakatos,1,2 George Karmos,2,3 Ashesh D. Mehta,4 Istvan Ulbert,2,3 Charles E. Schroeder1,5

1 Cognitive Neuroscience and Schizophrenia Program, Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, NY 10962, USA.
2 Institute for Psychology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary 1394.
3 Faculty of Information Technology, Péter Pázmány Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary 1083.
4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY 11040, USA.
5 Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Whereas gamma-band neuronal oscillations clearly appear integral to visual attention, the role of lower-frequency oscillations is still being debated. Mounting evidence indicates that a key functional property of these oscillations is the rhythmic shifting of excitability in local neuronal ensembles. Here, we show that when attended stimuli are in a rhythmic stream, delta-band oscillations in the primary visual cortex entrain to the rhythm of the stream, resulting in increased response gain for task-relevant events and decreased reaction times. Because of hierarchical cross-frequency coupling, delta phase also determines momentary power in higher-frequency activity. These instrumental functions of low-frequency oscillations support a conceptual framework that integrates numerous earlier findings.

(end of paraphrase)



Return to — Attention

Return to — Oscillation, Synchronization

Further discussion -- Covington Theory of Consciousness