Changes in behavioral state are typically accompanied by changes in the frequency and spatial coordination of rhythmic activity in the neocortex. In this article, we analyze the effects of neuromodulation on ionic conductances in an oscillating cortical circuit model. The model consists of synaptically-coupled excitatory and inhibitory neurons and supports rhythmic activity in the alpha, beta, and gamma ranges. We find that the effects of neuromodulation on ionic conductances are, by themselves, sufficient to induce transitions between synchronous gamma and beta rhythms and asynchronous alpha rhythms. Moreover, these changes are consistent with changes in behavioral state, with the rhythm transitioning from the slower alpha to the faster gamma and beta as arousal increases. We also observe that it is the same set of underlying intrinsic and network mechanisms that appear to be simultaneously responsible for both the observed transitions between the rhythm types and between their synchronization properties. Spike time response curves (STRCs) are used to study the relationship between the transitions in rhythm and the underlying biophysics.