Cortical Oscillations in Health and Disease

ISBN : 9780195342796

Roger Traub; Miles Whittlington
448 Pages
164 x 235 mm
Pub date
Sep 2010
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This book first reviews the case that brain oscillations not only are important for cognition, as long suspected, but also play a part in the expression of signs and symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders. The cellular mechanisms of many of the clinically relevant oscillations have been studied by the authors and their colleagues, using in vitro slice methods as well as detailed computer simulations. A surprising insight is that gap junctions between principal neurons play an absolutely critical role in so many types of oscillation in neuronal populations; oscillations are not just the result of properties of individual neurons and their synaptic connections. Furthermore, the way in which gap junctions produce oscillations in the cortex is novel, involving as it does global properties of networks, rather than just the time constants of membrane currents. This insight has implications for therapeutics as well as for our understanding of normal brain functions.

About the author: 

Dr. Traub was educated in mathematics at Princeton, and medicine and neurology at U Penn and Columbia, respectively. He is a founder of the field of detailed modeling of neuronal networks, and has applied this type of modeling to the study of brain oscillations and epilepsy, collaborating closely with Dr. Whittington since the early 1990s. Dr. Whittington was educated in pharmacology at Bristol University. He stayed in Bristol to study mechanisms of alcohol withdrawal-induced hyperexcitability before moving to St Mary's Hospital in London to study more general forms of epileptic activity, where he began working with Dr. Traub. He is founder in the field of in vitro models of EEG oscillations and continues to use these models, coupled with computational approaches, to attempt to understand the basic operational mode of human neocortex.

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