Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fast or slow? Interplay of rhythms makes brain centers communicate

Date:
April 24, 2014
Source:
Universitaet Tübingen
Summary:
Neuroscientists say differing rhythms coordinate the neural activity governing body movement. Although we are seldom aware of it, even simple motor actions like lifting a hand depend on complex communication processes between multiple structures in different parts of the brain. Recent studies show that rhythmic activities of groups of neurons may be fundamental to neuronal communication.

Although we are seldom aware of it, even simple motor actions like lifting a hand depend on complex communication processes between multiple structures in different parts of the brain. Recent studies show that rhythmic activities of groups of neurons may be fundamental to neuronal communication. However, we still have only a poor understanding of the exact roles of different brain rhythms and how they interact.

A recent study by Constantin von Nicolai and Markus Siegel from the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN), University of Tübingen sheds new light on these issues. In collaboration with colleagues from Hamburg and Oxford, von Nicolai and Siegel investigated the coupling of different brain rhythms in the cortex and the striatum. The striatum is a subcortical structure that is part of the basal ganglia and plays an important role in movement generation. In their study, published in the latest Journal of Neuroscience, von Nicolai and his colleagues recorded neuronal activity during running on a treadmill. They observed two prominent brain rhythms -- a slow and a fast rhythm -- that both depended on the running speed. These rhythms were not independent, but instead showed a characteristic pattern of interaction. The slow rhythms systematically modulated the strength of fast rhythms through phase-amplitude coupling. Furthermore, the slow rhythms were tightly synchronized between the cortex and the striatum. Von Nicolai and colleagues showed that, together, these phenomena led to a temporal coordination of bursts of fast rhythms between brain structures.

These results point to a new basic mechanism in the ways different brain rhythms may cooperate to mediate interactions between brain structures. The synchronization of slow rhythms is important for neuronal interactions on a global scale, while fast rhythms are important for neuronal processing on a local scale. Thus, the coordination of fast rhythms across different brain structures by slow rhythms might be a fundamental mechanism to integrate neuronal processing across different spatial scales.

The results of von Nicolai and his colleagues also have implications for the study of different brain diseases. Rhythmic processes are not only found in the healthy brain, but likely also play an important role in various neuropsychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson's disease. The main brain system affected by pathological processes in Parkinson's disease are the basal ganglia and the cortico-striatal axis investigated in this study. Thus, their results may open a new window for understanding the mechanistic disturbances that underlie motor dysfunctions and cognitive impairments in Parkinson's and similar diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitaet Tübingen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. von Nicolai, G. Engler, A. Sharott, A. K. Engel, C. K. Moll, M. Siegel. Corticostriatal Coordination through Coherent Phase-Amplitude Coupling. Journal of Neuroscience, 2014; 34 (17): 5938 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5007-13.2014

Cite This Page:

Universitaet Tübingen. "Fast or slow? Interplay of rhythms makes brain centers communicate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424102312.htm>.
Universitaet Tübingen. (2014, April 24). Fast or slow? Interplay of rhythms makes brain centers communicate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424102312.htm
Universitaet Tübingen. "Fast or slow? Interplay of rhythms makes brain centers communicate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424102312.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins