Disrupted relationship between intrinsic neural timescales and alpha peak frequency during unconscious states – A high-density EEG study

Andrea Buccellato, Di Zang, Federico Zilio, Javier Gomez-Pilar, Zhe Wang, Zengxin Qi, Ruizhe Zheng, Zeyu Xu, Xuehai Wu, Patrizia Bisiacchi, Alessandra Del Felice, Ying Mao, Georg Northoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Our brain processes the different timescales of our environment's temporal input stochastics. Is such a temporal input processing mechanism key for consciousness? To address this research question, we calculated measures of input processing on shorter (alpha peak frequency, APF) and longer (autocorrelation window, ACW) timescales on resting-state high-density EEG (256 channels) recordings and compared them across different consciousness levels (awake/conscious, ketamine and sevoflurane anaesthesia, unresponsive wakefulness, minimally conscious state). We replicate and extend previous findings of: (i) significantly longer ACW values, consistently over all states of unconsciousness, as measured with ACW-0 (an unprecedented longer version of the well-know ACW-50); (ii) significantly slower APF values, as measured with frequency sliding, in all four unconscious states. Most importantly, we report a highly significant correlation of ACW-0 and APF in the conscious state, while their relationship is disrupted in the unconscious states. In sum, we demonstrate the relevance of the brain's capacity for input processing on shorter (APF) and longer (ACW) timescales - including their relationship - for consciousness. Albeit indirectly, e.g., through the analysis of electrophysiological activity at rest, this supports the mechanism of temporo-spatial alignment to the environment's temporal input stochastics, through relating different neural timescales, as one key predisposing factor of consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119802
JournalNeuroImage
Volume265
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Alpha peak frequency
  • Anaesthesia
  • Disorders of consciousness
  • Electroencephalography
  • Intrinsic neural timescales
  • Temporal input processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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