Oscillations in the auditory system and their possible role

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2020 Jun:113:507-528. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.03.030. Epub 2020 Apr 13.


GOURÉVITCH, B., C. Martin, O. Postal, J.J. Eggermont. Oscillations in the auditory system, their possible role. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV XXX XXX-XXX, 2020. - Neural oscillations are thought to have various roles in brain processing such as, attention modulation, neuronal communication, motor coordination, memory consolidation, decision-making, or feature binding. The role of oscillations in the auditory system is less clear, especially due to the large discrepancy between human and animal studies. Here we describe many methodological issues that confound the results of oscillation studies in the auditory field. Moreover, we discuss the relationship between neural entrainment and oscillations that remains unclear. Finally, we aim to identify which kind of oscillations could be specific or salient to the auditory areas and their processing. We suggest that the role of oscillations might dramatically differ between the primary auditory cortex and the more associative auditory areas. Despite the moderate presence of intrinsic low frequency oscillations in the primary auditory cortex, rhythmic components in the input seem crucial for auditory processing. This allows the phase entrainment between the oscillatory phase and rhythmic input, which is an integral part of stimulus selection within the auditory system.

Keywords: Auditory cortex; EEG; entrainment; local field potential; oscillations; rhythmic neural activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex*
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Brain
  • Humans
  • Neurons