Studies of mechanisms in the brain that allow complicated things to happen
in a coordinated fashion have produced some of the most spectacular discoveries
in neuroscience. This book provides eloquent support for the idea that spontaneous
neuron activity, far from being mere noise, is actually the source of our cognitive
abilities. It takes a fresh look at the coevolution of structure and function
in the mammalian brain, illustrating how self-emerged oscillatory timing is
the brain's fundamental organizer of neuronal information. The small-world-like
connectivity of the cerebral cortex allows for global computation on multiple
spatial and temporal scales. The perpetual interactions among the multiple network
oscillators keep cortical systems in a highly sensitive "metastable"
state and provide energy-efficient synchronizing mechanisms via weak links.
In a sequence of "cycles," György Buzsáki guides the reader from the physics of oscillations through neuronal assembly organization to complex cognitive processing and memory storage. His clear, fluid writing-accessible to any reader with some scientific knowledge-is supplemented by extensive footnotes and references that make it just as gratifying and instructive a read for the specialist. The coherent view of a single author who has been at the forefront of research in this exciting field, this volume is essential reading for anyone interested in our rapidly evolving understanding of the brain.
Table of Contents
Cycle 1. Introduction.
Cycle 2. Structure defines function.
Cycle 3. Diversity of cortical functions is provided by inhibition.
Cycle 4. Windows on the brain.
Cycle 5. A system of rhythms: from simple to complex dynamics.
Cycle 6. Synchronization by oscillation.
Cycle 7. The brain's default state: self-organized oscillations in rest and sleep.
Cycle 8. Perturbation of the default patterns by experience.
Cycle 9. The gamma buzz: gluing by oscillations in the waking brain.
Cycle 10. Perceptions and actions are brain state-dependent.
Cycle 11. Oscillations in the "other cortex:" navigation in real and memory space.
Cycle 12. Coupling of systems by oscillations.
Cycle 13. The tough problem.
György Buzsáki is a Board of Governors Professor of Neuroscience at Rutgers University. His primary research interests are in brain oscillations, sleep and memory, and with more than 200 papers published on these topics, he is among the top 250 most-cited neuroscientists. Dr. Buzsáki is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and he sits on the editorial boards of several leading neuroscience journals.