Neural circuits underlying the generation of theta oscillations

Michele Pignatelli, Anna Beyeler, Xavier Leinekugel
Journal of Physiology-Paris. 2012-05-01; 106(3-4): 81-92
DOI: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2011.09.007

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Theta oscillations represent the neural network configuration underlying active
awake behavior and paradoxical sleep. This major EEG pattern has been extensively
studied, from physiological to anatomical levels, for more than half a century.
Nevertheless the cellular and network mechanisms accountable for the theta
generation are still not fully understood. This review synthesizes the current
knowledge on the circuitry involved in the generation of theta oscillations, from
the hippocampus to extra hippocampal structures such as septal complex,
entorhinal cortex and pedunculopontine tegmentum, a main trigger of theta state
through direct and indirect projections to the septal complex. We conclude with a
short overview of the perspectives offered by technical advances for deciphering
more precisely the different neural components underlying the emergence of theta


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