Spatio-temporal correlations in human gamma band electrocorticograms

V. Menon, W. J. Freeman, B. A. Cutillo, J. E. Desmond, M. F. Ward, S. L. Bressler, K. D. Laxer, N. Barbaro, A. S. Gevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Animal electrocorticogram (ECoG) studies have shown that spatial patterns in the gamma band (> 20 Hz) reflect perceptual categorization. Spatio-temporal correlations were investigated in the 20-50 Hz range in search for similar phenomena in human ECoG. ECoGs were recorded in a somatosensory discrimination task from 64-electrode subdural grid arrays, with inter-electrode spacing of 1 cm, overlying somatosensory, motor and superior temporal cortices in 2 patients with intractable epilepsy. Bootstrap techniques were devised to analyze the spatial and temporal characteristics of the correlations. Despite an extensive search, no evidence was found for globally correlated activity related to-behavior either in narrow (i.e., 35-45 Hz) or broad (i.e., 20-50 Hz) bands. Spatial patterns, extracted using principal component analysis, could not be classified with respect to stimulus type in any time interval. Instead, spatially and temporally intermittent synchronization was observed between pairs of electrodes in 1 cm x 1 cm regions with high variability within and across trials. The distribution of correlation coefficients differed substantially from background levels at inter-electrode distances of 1 cm and 1.4 cm but not 2 cm or more. The minimum duration of correlation, the decorrelation time, of the ECoG was about 50 msec; the average correlation duration at 1 cm inter-electrode distance was about 150 msec; and the recurrence rate of significant correlation peaks was about 1.3/sec. The findings suggest that the surface diameters of domains of spatially correlated activity underlying perceptual categorization in human gamma band ECoG are limited to less than 2 cm and that the intermittent synchronization observed across separations of 1 cm and 1.4 cm is not solely due to volume conduction. Thus, if such gamma band spatial patterns exist in the human brain, no existing technology would be capable of measuring them at the scalp, and subdural electrode arrays for cortical surface recording would have to have spacings under 5 mm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Bootstrap
  • Gamma
  • Human ECoG
  • Spatio-temporal correlations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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