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Quality control of visual gamma oscillation frequency in studies of pharmacology, cognitive neuroscience and large-scale multi-site collaborations

Magazzini, Lorenzo 2016. Quality control of visual gamma oscillation frequency in studies of pharmacology, cognitive neuroscience and large-scale multi-site collaborations. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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In visual cortex, high-contrast grating stimuli induce neurons to oscillate synchronously with a centre frequency in the gamma range (~30–80 Hz). The peak frequency of visual gamma oscillations is modulated by numerous factors, including stimulus properties, cortical architecture and genetics, however, it can be measured reliably over time. As demonstrated by both animal models and human pharmacological studies, the gamma peak frequency is determined by the excitation/inhibition balance and the time constants of GABAergic processes. This oscillatory parameter could thus reflect inter-individual differences in cortical function/physiology, representing a possible biomarker for pharmacological treatment in conditions such as epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia. This thesis demonstrates the importance of measuring the gamma peak frequency accurately and reliably in magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings. In Chapter 2, a novel quality-control (QC) approach was validated for peak frequency estimation and identification of poor-quality data. In Chapter 3, QC of a previous pharmacological MEG study of visual gamma with tiagabine revealed a marked drug-induced reduction of peak frequency. Although contrasting with the null finding originally reported (Muthukumaraswamy et al., 2013), the result is supported by both animal models and recent human studies, demonstrating the potentialities of appropriate QC routines. In Chapter 4, testing for the effect of spatial attention on the gamma peak frequency in primary visual cortex resulted in no evidence of a change. However, the modulation of gamma amplitude by attention was consistent with a role in feed-forward signal propagation across the visual hierarchy. In Chapter 5, the QC approach was used to compare visual gamma data recorded at different sites of the UK MEG Partnership, demonstrating the feasibility of combining data from different MEG systems. These results have implications particularly for pharmacological and large-scale multi-site studies, both of which are emerging as promising approaches for the study of brain function with MEG.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 March 2017
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:43

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