Microscale Physiological Events on the Human Cortical Surface

Angelique C. Paulk, Jimmy C. Yang, Daniel R. Cleary, Daniel J. Soper, Mila Halgren, Alexandra R. O'Donnell, Sang Heon Lee, Mehran Ganji, Yun Goo Ro, Hongseok Oh, Lorraine Hossain, Jihwan Lee, Youngbin Tchoe, Nicholas Rogers, Kivilcim Kiliç, Sang Baek Ryu, Seung Woo Lee, John Hermiz, Vikash Gilja, István UlbertDaniel Fabó, Thomas Thesen, Werner K. Doyle, Orrin Devinsky, Joseph R. Madsen, Donald L. Schomer, Emad N. Eskandar, Jong Woo Lee, Douglas Maus, Anna Devor, Shelley I. Fried, Pamela S. Jones, Brian V. Nahed, Sharona Ben-Haim, Sarah K. Bick, Robert Mark Richardson, Ahmed M. Raslan, Dominic A. Siler, Daniel P. Cahill, Ziv M. Williams, G. Rees Cosgrove, Shadi A. Dayeh, Sydney S. Cash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Despite ongoing advances in our understanding of local single-cellular and network-level activity of neuronal populations in the human brain, extraordinarily little is known about their "intermediate"microscale local circuit dynamics. Here, we utilized ultra-high-density microelectrode arrays and a rare opportunity to perform intracranial recordings across multiple cortical areas in human participants to discover three distinct classes of cortical activity that are not locked to ongoing natural brain rhythmic activity. The first included fast waveforms similar to extracellular single-unit activity. The other two types were discrete events with slower waveform dynamics and were found preferentially in upper cortical layers. These second and third types were also observed in rodents, nonhuman primates, and semi-chronic recordings from humans via laminar and Utah array microelectrodes. The rates of all three events were selectively modulated by auditory and electrical stimuli, pharmacological manipulation, and cold saline application and had small causal co-occurrences. These results suggest that the proper combination of high-resolution microelectrodes and analytic techniques can capture neuronal dynamics that lay between somatic action potentials and aggregate population activity. Understanding intermediate microscale dynamics in relation to single-cell and network dynamics may reveal important details about activity in the full cortical circuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3678-3700
Number of pages23
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • auditory stimulation
  • electrical stimulation
  • extracellular activity
  • human cortex
  • microelectrode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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