Human brain oscillations: From physiological mechanisms to analysis and cognition

Ole Jensen*, Eelke Spaak, Johanna M. Zumer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


In the cognitive neuroscience community there is a strong and growing interest in the function of oscillatory brain activity. Brain oscillations can readily be detected with MEG, which also allows for indentifying the sources and networks producing the activity. The aim of this chapter is first to describe the physiological mechanisms responsible for generating brain oscillations in various frequency bands and regions. We will focus on insight gained from the animal literature and physiologically realistic computational modeling. Next, we will explain the signal processing tools typically applied to characterize oscillatory brain activity from human electrophysiological data in the context of cognitive paradigms. The final section will address the main ideas on the functional role of brain oscillations in various frequency bands. This discussion will be focused on recent findings applying MEG.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMagnetoencephalography
Subtitle of host publication From Signals to Dynamic Cortical Networks
Number of pages45
ISBN (Electronic)9783642330452
ISBN (Print)3642330444, 9783642330445
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


  • Alpha oscillations
  • Beta oscillations
  • Biophysical modelling
  • Brain oscillations
  • Computational modelling
  • Delta oscillations
  • Functional and cognitive relevance of oscillations
  • Gamma oscillations
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Signal processing
  • Theta oscillations
  • Time-frequency analysis


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