Does the 1/f frequency scaling of brain signals reflect self-organized critical states?

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Sep 15;97(11):118102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.118102. Epub 2006 Sep 13.


Many complex systems display self-organized critical states characterized by 1/f frequency scaling of power spectra. Global variables such as the electroencephalogram, scale as 1/f, which could be the sign of self-organized critical states in neuronal activity. By analyzing simultaneous recordings of global and neuronal activities, we confirm the 1/f scaling of global variables for selected frequency bands, but show that neuronal activity is not consistent with critical states. We propose a model of 1/f scaling which does not rely on critical states, and which is testable experimentally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biophysics / methods
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Physiological Phenomena
  • Synapses