Extensive work in humans using magneto- and electroencephalography strongly suggests that decreased oscillatory α-activity (8-14 Hz) facilitates processing in a given region, whereas increased α-activity serves to actively suppress irrelevant or interfering processing. However, little work has been done to understand how α-activity is linked to neuronal firing. Here, we simultaneously recorded local field potentials and spikes from somatosensory, premotor, and motor regions while a trained monkey performed a vibrotactile discrimination task. In the local field potentials we observed strong activity in the α-band, which decreased in the sensorimotor regions during the discrimination task. This α-power decrease predicted better discrimination performance. Furthermore, the α-oscillations demonstrated a rhythmic relation with the spiking, such that firing was highest at the trough of the α-cycle. Firing rates increased with a decrease in α-power. These findings suggest that α-oscillations exercise a strong inhibitory influence on both spike timing and firing rate. Thus, the pulsed inhibition by α-oscillations plays an important functional role in the extended sensorimotor system.