Multisecond periodicities in basal ganglia firing rates correlate with theta bursts in transcortical and hippocampal EEG

J Neurophysiol. 2002 Feb;87(2):1118-22. doi: 10.1152/jn.00234.2001.


Multisecond oscillations in firing rate with periods in the range of 2-60 s (mean, 20-35 s) are present in 50-90% of spike trains from basal ganglia neurons recorded from locally anesthetized, immobilized rats. To determine whether these periodic oscillations are associated with similar periodicities in cortical activity, transcortical electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was recorded in conjunction with single- or dual-unit neuronal activity in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or the globus pallidus (GP), and the data were analyzed with spectral and wavelet analyses. Multisecond oscillations in firing rates of 31% of the STN neurons and 46% of the GP neurons with periodicities significantly correlated with bursts of theta (4-7 Hz) activity in transcortical EEG. Further recordings of localized field potentials in the hippocampus and frontal or parietal cortices simultaneously with GP unit activity showed field potentials from the hippocampus, but not from the frontal or parietal cortices, exhibited bursts of theta rhythm that were correlated with GP firing rate oscillations. These results demonstrate a functional connectivity between basal ganglia neuronal activity and theta band activity in the hippocampus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basal Ganglia / physiology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Periodicity
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Theta Rhythm*