Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Previously Published Works bannerUC Berkeley

A field-theoretic approach to understanding scale-free neocortical dynamics

  • Author(s): Freeman, Walter J
  • et al.
Abstract

A mesoscopic field-theoretic approach is compared with neural network and brain imaging approaches to understanding brain dynamics. Analysis of high spatiotemporal resolution rabbit electroencephalogram ( EEG) reveals neural fields in the form of spatial patterns in amplitude ( AM) and phase ( PM) modulation of gamma and beta carrier waves that serve to classify EEGs from trials with differing conditioned stimuli (CS+/-). Paleocortex exemplified by olfactory EEG has one AM-PM pattern at a time that forms by an input-dependent phase transition. Neocortex shows multiple overlapping AM-PM patterns before and during presentation of CSs. Modeling suggests that neocortex is stabilized in a scale-free state of self-organized criticality, enabling cooperative domains to form virtually instantaneously by phase transitions ranging in size from a few hypercolumns to an entire hemisphere. Self-organized local domains precede formation of global domains that supervene and contribute global modulations to local domains. This mechanism is proposed to explain Gestalt formation in perception.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View