Theta oscillations represent the neural network configuration underlying active awake behavior and paradoxical sleep. This major EEG pattern has been extensively studied, from physiological to anatomical levels, for more than half a century. Nevertheless the cellular and network mechanisms accountable for the theta generation are still not fully understood. This review synthesizes the current knowledge on the circuitry involved in the generation of theta oscillations, from the hippocampus to extra hippocampal structures such as septal complex, entorhinal cortex and pedunculopontine tegmentum, a main trigger of theta state through direct and indirect projections to the septal complex. We conclude with a short overview of the perspectives offered by technical advances for deciphering more precisely the different neural components underlying the emergence of theta oscillations.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.