Communication between brain areas based on nested oscillations

Mathilde Bonnefond, Sabine Kastner, Ole Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Unraveling how brain regions communicate is crucial for understanding how the brain processes external and internal information. Neuronal oscillations within and across brain regions have been proposed to play a crucial role in this process. Two main hypotheses have been suggested for routing of information based on oscillations, namely communication through coherence and gating by inhibition. Here, we propose a framework unifying these two hypotheses that is based on recent empirical findings. We discuss a theory in which communication between two regions is established by phase synchronization of oscillations at lower frequencies (<25 Hz), which serve as temporal reference frame for information carried by high-frequency activity (<40 Hz). Our framework, consistent with numerous recent empirical findings, posits that cross-frequency interactions are essential for understanding how large-scale cognitive and perceptual networks operate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0153-16.2017
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • Alpha
  • Brain communication
  • Cross-frequency coupling
  • Gamma
  • Slow oscillations
  • Theta


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