Gamma, alpha, delta, and theta oscillations govern cognitive processes

Int J Psychophysiol. 2001 Jan;39(2-3):241-8. doi: 10.1016/s0167-8760(00)00145-8.


The increased interest in gamma oscillations, now widely regarded as functionally relevant signals of the brain, underlines the importance of the concept of event-related oscillations for bridging the gap between single neurons and neural assemblies. Taking this concept further, we review experiments showing that oscillatory phenomena such as alpha, theta, and delta responses to events are, just as the gamma band, strongly interwoven with sensory and cognitive functions. This review argues that selectively distributed delta, theta, alpha and gamma oscillatory systems act as resonant communication networks through large populations of neurons. Thus, oscillatory processes might play a major role in functional communication in the brain in relation to memory and integrative functions.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Alpha Rhythm
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Delta Rhythm
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Humans
  • Theta Rhythm