Bernhard Ross, Shahab Jamali, Takahiro Miyazaki, and Takako Fujioka (2013)
Synchronization of β and γ oscillations in the somatosensory evoked neuromagnetic steady-state response.
Experimental Neurology, 245:40-51.
The sensory evoked neuromagnetic response consists of superimposition of an immediately stimulus-driven component and induced changes in the autonomous brain activity, each having distinct functional relevance. Commonly, the strength of phase locking in neural activities has been used to differentiate the different responses. The steady-state response is a strong oscillatory neural activity, which is evoked with rhythmic stimulation, and provides an effective tool to investigate oscillatory brain networks. In this case, both the sensory response and intrinsic activity, representing higher order processes, are highly synchronized to the stimulus. In this study we hypothesized that temporal dynamics of oscillatory activities would characterize the differences between the two types of activities and that beta and gamma oscillations are differently involved in this distinction. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) for studying how ongoing steady-state responses elicited by a 20-Hz vibro-tactile stimulus to the right index finger were affected by a concurrent isolated touch stimulus to the same hand ring finger. SI source activity showed oscillations at multiples of 20 Hz with characteristic differences in the beta band and the gamma band. The response amplitudes were largest at 20 Hz (beta) and significantly reduced at 40 Hz and 60 Hz (gamma), although synchronization strength, indicated by inter-trial coherence (ITC), did not substantially differ between 20 Hz and 40 Hz. Moreover, the beta oscillations showed a fast onset, whereas the amplitude of gamma oscillations increased slowly and reached the steady state 400 ms after onset of the vibration stimulus. Most importantly, the pulse stimuli interacted only with gamma oscillations in a way that gamma oscillations decreased immediately after the concurrent stimulus onset and recovered slowly, resembling the initial slope. Such time course of gamma oscillations is similar to our previous observations in the auditory system. The time constant is in line with the time required for conscious perception of the sensory stimulus. Based on the observed different spectro-temporal dynamics, we propose that while beta activities likely relate to independent representation of the sensory input, gamma oscillation likely relates to binding of sensory information for higher order processing.