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Local field potentials, BOLD and spiking activity: Relationships and physiological mechanisms

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Berens,  P
Research Group Computational Vision and Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Logothetis,  NK
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Berens, P., Logothetis, N., & Tolias, A. (2010). Local field potentials, BOLD and spiking activity: Relationships and physiological mechanisms. Nature Precedings, 2010, 1-27. doi:10101/npre.2010.5216.1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-BD64-B
Abstract
Extracellular voltage fluctuations (local field potentials, LFPs) reflecting neural mass action are ubiquitous across species and brain regions. Numerous studies have characterized the properties of LFP signals in the cortex to study sensory and motor computations as well as cognitive processes like attention, perception and memory. In addition, its extracranial counterpart – the electroencephalogram – is widely used in clinical applications. However, the link between LFP signals and the underlying activity of local populations of neurons is still largely elusive. For the LFP to aid our understanding of cortical computation, however, we need to know as precisely as possible what aspects of neural mass action it reflects. In this chapter, we examine recent advances and results regarding the origin, the feature selectivity and the spatial resolution of the local field potential and discuss its relationship to local spiking activity as well as the BOLD signal used in fMRI. We place particular focus on the gamm a-band of the local field potential since it has long been implicated to play an important role in sensory processing. We conclude that in contrast to spikes, the local field potential does not measure the output of the computation performed by a cortical circuit, but are rather indicative of the synaptic and dendritic processes, as well as the dynamics of cortical computation.