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The hippocampal theta and neocortical gamma rhythms are two prominent examples of oscillatory neuronal activity. The hippocampus has often been hypothesized to influence neocortical networks by its theta rhythm, and, recently, evidence for such a direct influence has been found. We examined a possible mechanism for this influence by means of a biophysical model study using conductance-based model neurons. We found, in agreement with previous studies, that networks of fast-spiking GABA-ergic interneurons, coupled with shunting inhibition, synchronize their spike activity at a gamma frequency and are able to impose this rhythm on a network of pyramidal cells to which they are coupled. When our model was supplied with hippocampal theta-modulated input fibres, the theta rhythm biased the spike timings of both the fast-spiking and pyramidal cells. Furthermore, both the amplitude and frequency of local field potential gamma oscillations were influenced by the phase of the theta rhythm. We show that the fast-spiking cells, not pyramidal cells, are essential for this latter phenomenon, thus highlighting their crucial role in the interplay between hippocampus and neocortex.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Action Potentials, Algorithms, Animals, Biophysical Phenomena, Hippocampus, Humans, Interneurons, Models, Neurological, Neocortex, Nerve Net, Pyramidal Cells, Synapses, Synaptic Transmission, Theta Rhythm