Broadband changes in the cortical surface potential track activation of functionally diverse neuronal populations

Neuroimage. 2014 Jan 15;85 Pt 2(0 2):711-20. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.08.070. Epub 2013 Sep 7.


We illustrate a general principal of electrical potential measurements from the surface of the cerebral cortex, by revisiting and reanalyzing experimental work from the visual, language and motor systems. A naive decomposition technique of electrocorticographic power spectral measurements reveals that broadband spectral changes reliably track task engagement. These broadband changes are shown to be a generic correlate of local cortical function across a variety of brain areas and behavioral tasks. Furthermore, they fit a power-law form that is consistent with simple models of the dendritic integration of asynchronous local population firing. Because broadband spectral changes covary with diverse perceptual and behavioral states on the timescale of 20-50 ms, they provide a powerful and widely applicable experimental tool.

Keywords: Brain; Broadband spectral change; Electrocorticography; Human; Physiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology