Posts Tagged ‘theta waves

Control of traveling waves in the Mammalian cortex.

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January, 2005

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Control of traveling waves in the Mammalian cortex.

Richardson KA1, Schiff SJ, Gluckman BJ.
Author information
Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study
George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia 22030, USA.


We experimentally confirmed predictions that modulation of the neuronal threshold with electrical fields can speed up, slow down, and even block traveling waves in neocortical slices. The predictions are based on a Wilson-Cowan-type integro-differential equation model of propagating neocortical activity. Wave propagation could be modified quickly and reversibly within targeted regions of the network. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of direct modulation of the threshold to control wave propagation in a neural system.

We therefore predicted that we could speed up, slow down, and block propagating neural activity in neocortical slices with the application of electric fields. Furthermore, we predicted that we could affect wave propagation either globally, over the whole slice, or locally, in a specific region of the slice, by changing the geometry of the applied field.

We experimentally confirmed theoretical predictions that threshold modulation can increase or decrease the propagation speed of, and even block, cortical traveling waves. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of direct modulation of threshold to control wave propagation in a neural system. Such modulation could be applied rapidly in a locally precise manner. Since neural systems permit direct access to threshold, these findings open avenues to novel neural prosthetic applications including control and containment of seizure propagation.


Scientists discover that our brain waves can be sent by electrical fields – ScienceAlert

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15 JAN 2016

“The implications are that such directed fields can be used to modulate both pathological activities, such as seizures, and to interact with cognitive rhythms that help regulate a variety of processes in the brain.”

The results indicate that electric fields (ephaptic effects) are capable of mediating propagation of self-regenerating neural waves,” they write. “This novel mechanism coupling cell-by-volume conduction could be involved in other types of propagating neural signals, such as slow-wave sleep, sharp hippocampal waves, theta waves, or seizures.”

If their findings, which are reported in The Journal of Neuroscience, can be expounded in further studies, it could help us to better understand how brain waves are associated with things like memory, epilepsy, and healthy physiology.

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