Bradley Voytek: What might neural oscillations be good for?

Date and Time: 
Monday, February 13, 2017 - 5:10pm - 6:30pm

Sloan Hall, Math Bldg 380, Room 380-C

Abstract: Perception, cognition, and action depend upon coordinated neural activity. This coordination operates within noisy, distributed neural networks, which themselves change with development, learning, and disease. Extensive work suggests that low frequency oscillations interact with neuronal spiking, which may be a mechanism for implementing dynamic coordination between brain regions. Disruptions to this process, manifesting as atypical oscillatory dynamics, have been implicated in many mental health disorders. This places oscillations at the fore of putative neural communication mechanisms, however these oscillations are embedded within background electrophysiological noise, which itself is dynamically modulated by cognitive, behavioral, and disease states. In this talk I will explore the interaction between oscillations and neural noise, discuss what physiological information we might be able to glean from the local field potential and EEG, and provide evidence for how oscillations might influence neural communication.