Yes, we are back after a long hiatus! Tomorrow at Sensorimotor Journal Club we will take up the issue of neural synchrony, as Alexander Herman presents the following recent article:
Womelsdorf, T., Schoffelen, J.-M., Oostenveld, R., Singer, W., Desimone, R., Engel, A. K., et al. (2007). Modulation of neuronal interactions through neuronal synchronization. Science, 316(5831), 1609-1612. (link to pdf of article)
Brain processing depends on the interactions between neuronal groups. Those interactions are governed by the pattern of anatomical connections and by yet unknown mechanisms that modulate the effective strength of a given connection. We found that the mutual influence among neuronal groups depends on the phase relation between rhythmic activities within the groups. Phase relations supporting interactions between the groups preceded those interactions by a few milliseconds, consistent with a mechanistic role. These effects were specific in time, frequency, and space, and we therefore propose that the pattern of synchronization flexibly determines the pattern of neuronal interactions.