Gamma (γ) and beta (β) oscillations seem to play complementary functions in the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical circuit (CBGT) during motor behavior. We investigated the time-varying changes of the putaminal spiking activity and the spectral power of local field potentials (LFPs) during a task where the rhythmic tapping of monkeys was guided by isochronous stimuli separated by a fixed duration (synchronization phase), followed by a period of internally timed movements (continuation phase). We found that the power of both bands and the discharge rate of cells showed an orderly change in magnitude as a function of the duration and/or the serial order of the intervals executed rhythmically. More LFPs were tuned to duration and/or serial order in the β- than the γ-band, although different values of preferred features were represented by single cells and by both bands. Importantly, in the LFPs tuned to serial order, there was a strong bias toward the continuation phase for the β-band when aligned to movements, and a bias toward the synchronization phase for the γ-band when aligned to the stimuli. Our results suggest that γ-oscillations reflect local computations associated with stimulus processing, whereas β-activity involves the entrainment of large putaminal circuits, probably in conjunction with other elements of CBGT, during internally driven rhythmic tapping.
Keywords: interval tuning; rhesus monkey; spikes and LFPs; synchronization-continuation task; timing.