High-gamma activity, ranging in frequency between ∼60 Hz and 200 Hz, has been observed in local field potential, electrocorticography, EEG and magnetoencephalography signals during cortical activation, in a variety of functional brain systems. The origin of these signals is yet unknown. Using computational modeling, we show that a cortical network model receiving thalamic input generates high-gamma responses comparable to those observed in local field potential recorded in monkey somatosensory cortex during vibrotactile stimulation. These high-gamma oscillations appear to be mediated mostly by an excited population of inhibitory fast-spiking interneurons firing at high-gamma frequencies and pacing excitatory regular-spiking pyramidal cells, which fire at lower rates but in phase with the population rhythm. The physiological correlates of high-gamma activity, in this model of local cortical circuits, appear to be similar to those proposed for hippocampal ripples generated by subsets of interneurons that regulate the discharge of principal cells.
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