Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gloomy Sunday

The waves often have large-scale, highly textured spatial patterns of cortical activity, formed in the context of associative learning under classical and operant conditioning in rabbits. The patterns show spatial amplitude modulation of shared oscillations of carrier waves in the beta and gamma ranges of the EEG, with recurrence at frame rates in the alpha and theta ranges. The frames also show spatial phase modulation that is inconsistent with driving of the oscillations by focal pacemakers. The hypothesis is developed that the synchronization manifests continuous distributions of activity in cortical neuropil that modulate firings of selected neural networks embedded in the neuropil. Five interactive agencies have been postulated to explain the mechanism for the field synchrony: electric fields; magnetic fields; electromagnetic fields (radio waves); diffusion chemical gradients; and order parameters that control self-organization of large populations of neurons by widespread synaptic interaction constituting negative and positive feedback. Only the last interactive agency fits the data. The points are emphasized that these field patterns in frames require interactive neural dynamics that is modulated in respect to global operations mediating arousal, attention, selective emotional stance, wake, sleep, learn, habituate, dishabituate, etc., and that these operations require differing but complementary fields that form by massive parallel feed-forward architectures of brainstem neuromodulatory nuclei. An example is given using histamine of the neural discharges of brainstem nuclei that do not require fine spatiotemporal texturing of their firing; they operate by nonsynaptic release of neuromodulators that effect changes in background state, such that textured patterns of cortical activity can form and update in flexible adaptations of brains to their environments. These systems instantiate volume transmission by nonsynaptic diffusion transmission, in concert with the self-organization of the textured neural activity that supports cognition.

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