Oscillatory synchronization in large-scale cortical networks predicts perception

Neuron. 2011 Jan 27;69(2):387-96. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.12.027.


Normal brain function requires the dynamic interaction of functionally specialized but widely distributed cortical regions. Long-range synchronization of oscillatory signals has been suggested to mediate these interactions within large-scale cortical networks, but direct evidence is sparse. Here we show that oscillatory synchronization is organized in such large-scale networks. We implemented an analysis approach that allows for imaging synchronized cortical networks and applied this technique to EEG recordings in humans. We identified two networks: beta-band synchronization (~20 Hz) in a fronto-parieto-occipital network and gamma-band synchronization (~80 Hz) in a centro-temporal network. Strong perceptual correlates support their functional relevance: the strength of synchronization within these networks predicted the subjects' perception of an ambiguous audiovisual stimulus as well as the integration of auditory and visual information. Our results provide evidence that oscillatory neuronal synchronization mediates neuronal communication within frequency-specific, large-scale cortical networks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cortical Synchronization / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perception / physiology*