Stimulus induced desynchronization of human auditory 40-Hz steady-state responses
Journal of Neurophysiology
The hypothesis that gamma-band oscillations are related to the representation of an environmental scene in the cerebral cortex after binding of corresponding perceptual elements is currently under discussion. One question is how the sensory system reacts to a fast change in the scene if perceptual elements are rigidly bound together. A reset of the gamma-band oscillation forced by a change in sensory input may dissolve the binding, which then would be re-established for the new sensation. We studied the reset of gamma-band oscillations on the 40 Hz auditory steady-state responses (ASSR) by means of whole head magnetoencephalography (MEG). The rhythm of 40-Hz amplitude modulation of a 500-Hz tone evoked the ASSR, and a short noise burst served as a concurrent stimulus. Possible direct interactions of the auditory stimuli were excluded by presenting the noise impulse in a different frequency channel (2,000-3,000 Hz) to the contra-lateral ear. The concurrent stimulus induced a considerable decrement in the amplitude of ASSR, which was localized in primary auditory cortices. This decrement lasted 250 ms and was significantly longer than the duration of the transient gamma-band response evoked by the noise burst. Thus, it could not be explained by any linear superimposition of the responses. The time-courses of ASSR amplitude and phase during recovery from the decrement resembled those after stimulus onset, indicating that a new ASSR was built up after the resetting stimulus. The results are discussed as reset of oscillations in human thalamo-cortical networks.
Ross B., Herdman A.T. & Pantev C.