Frontiers in Neuroscience

Temporal Interactions between Cortical Rhythms

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Multiple local neuronal circuits support different, discrete frequencies of network rhythm in neocortex. Relationships between different frequencies correspond to mechanisms designed to minimise interference, couple activity via stable phase interactions, and control the amplitude of one frequency relative to the phase of another. These mechanisms are proposed to form a framework for spectral information processing. Individual local circuits can also transform their frequency through changes in intrinsic neuronal properties and interactions with other oscillating microcircuits. Here we discuss a frequency transformation in which activity in two co-active local circuits may combine sequentially to generate a third frequency whose period is the concatenation sum of the original two. With such an interaction, the intrinsic periodicity in each component local circuit is preserved – alternate, single periods of each original rhythm form one period of a new frequency – suggesting a robust mechanism for combining information processed on multiple concurrent spatiotemporal scales.