A multimodal perspective on the composition of cortical oscillations: frontiers in human neuroscience

Kim C. Rönnqvist, Craig J. McAllister, Gavin L. Woodhall, Ian M. Stanford, Stephen D. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An expanding corpus of research details the relationship between functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures and neuronal network oscillations. Typically, integratedelectroencephalography(EEG) and fMRI,orparallel magnetoencephalography (MEG) and fMRI are used to draw inference about the consanguinity of BOLD and electrical measurements. However, there is a relative dearth of information about the relationship between E/MEG and the focal networks from which these signals emanate. Consequently, the genesis and composition of E/MEG oscillations requires further clarification. Here we aim to contribute to understanding through a series of parallel measurements of primary motor cortex (M1) oscillations, using human MEG and in-vitro rodent local field potentials. We compare spontaneous activity in the ~10Hz mu and 15-30Hz beta frequency ranges and compare MEG signals with independent and integrated layers III and V(LIII/LV) from in vitro recordings. We explore the mechanisms of oscillatory generation, using specific pharmacological modulation with the GABA-A alpha-1 subunit modulator zolpidem. Finally, to determine the contribution of cortico-cortical connectivity, we recorded in-vitro M1, during an incision to sever lateral connections between M1 and S1 cortices. We demonstrate that frequency distribution of MEG signals appear have closer statistically similarity with signals from integrated rather than independent LIII/LV laminae. GABAergic modulation in both modalities elicited comparable changes in the power of the beta band. Finally, cortico-cortical connectivity in sensorimotor cortex (SMC) appears to directly influence the power of the mu rhythm in LIII. These findings suggest that the MEG signal is an amalgam of outputs from LIII and LV, that multiple frequencies can arise from the same cortical area and that in vitro and MEG M1 oscillations are driven by comparable mechanisms. Finally, corticocortical connectivity is reflected in the power of the SMC mu rhythm. © 2013 Ronnqvist, Mcallister, Woodhall, Stanford and Hall.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue number132
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

© 2013 Ronnqvist, McAllister, Woodhall, Stanford and Hall. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

Funding: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); Parkinson's UK


  • motor cortex
  • magnetoencephalography
  • local field potential
  • oscillation
  • gamma-aminobutyric acid
  • beta rhythm
  • mu rhythm


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