Gamma oscillations in the auditory cortex of awake rats

Paulo Vianney-Rodrigues, Ovidiu D. Iancu, John P. Welsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Numerous reports of human electrophysiology have demonstrated gamma (30-150-Hz) frequency oscillations in the auditory cortex during listening. However, only a small number of studies in non-human animals have provided evidence for gamma oscillations during listening. In this report, multi-site recordings from primary auditory cortex (A1) were carried out using a 16-channel microelectrode array in awake rats as they passively listened to tones. We addressed two fundamental questions: (i) Is passive listening associated with an increase in gamma oscillation in A1? And, if so: (ii) Are A1 gamma oscillations during passive listening coherent within local networks and/or over long distances? All sites within A1 showed a short-latency burst of activity in the low-gamma (30-70-Hz) and high-gamma (90-150-Hz) bands in the local field potential (LFP). Additionally, 53% of sites within A1 also showed longer-latency bursts of gamma oscillation that occurred episodically for up to 350-ms after tone onset, but these varied both in latency and in occurrence across trials. There was significant coherence in the low-gamma band between spike activity and the LFP recorded with the same electrode. However, neither LFPs nor the spike activity between sites spaced at least 300-μm apart showed coherent activity in the gamma band. The experiments demonstrated that gamma oscillations are present, but not uniformly expressed, throughout A1 during passive listening and that there is strong local coherence in the spatiotemporal organization of gamma activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory system
  • Oscillations
  • Rattus norvegicus
  • Sensory processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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