Vinck et al. develop new statistical techniques for the analysis of electrophysiological brain data, and applied these techniques
to the study of brainwaves in sensory and motivational systems. Chapter 2 develops a new measure of phase locking between
spike trains and Local Field Potentials (LFP) that is unbiased for firing rate and spike count. Chapter 3 develops a new measure
of phase synchronization between EEG/MEG/LFP signals that is robust against the effects of volume conduction, noise and sample
size bias. Chapter 4 examines the effect of measurement noise on Granger causality statistics, and finds that statistical
control using time series reversal provides a viable solution for the noise problem, as opposed to examination of the slope
of the coherency function. Chapter 5 develops a new estimator of the entropy function based on polynomial expansion of the
entropy function and Bayesian estimation. Chapters 6-8 apply these techniques to experimental spike and LFP data obtained
from the awake rat using multi-areal ensemble recordings. Chapter 6 shows (1) the presence of band-limited gamma-band (30-90
Hz) oscillations in the barrel cortex, (2) cell-type-specific entrainment of cells by this gamma rhythm, and (3) absence of
gamma phase-coupling with other structures (visual and perirhinal cortex, hippocampus). Chapter 7 shows learning-dependent
gamma oscillations in the orbitofrontal cortex, expressed predominantly by a specific class of cells (‘action-value cells’).
Chapter 8, the authors show that neuronal coding of odour-value associations and rhythmic synchronization in OFC is critically
dependent on the NMDA receptor.
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