Metastable oscillatory modes emerge from synchronization in the brain spacetime connectome
Cabral J., Castaldo F., Vohryzek J., Litvak V., Bick C., Lambiotte R., Friston K., Kringelbach ML., Deco G.
AbstractA rich repertoire of oscillatory signals is detected from human brains with electro- and magnetoencephalography (EEG/MEG). However, the principles underwriting coherent oscillations and their link with neural activity remain under debate. Here, we revisit the mechanistic hypothesis that transient brain rhythms are a signature of metastable synchronization, occurring at reduced collective frequencies due to delays between brain areas. We consider a system of damped oscillators in the presence of background noise – approximating the short-lived gamma-frequency oscillations generated within neuronal circuits – coupled according to the diffusion weighted tractography between brain areas. Varying the global coupling strength and conduction speed, we identify a critical regime where spatially and spectrally resolved metastable oscillatory modes (MOMs) emerge at sub-gamma frequencies, approximating the MEG power spectra from 89 healthy individuals at rest. Further, we demonstrate that the frequency, duration, and scale of MOMs – as well as the frequency-specific envelope functional connectivity – can be controlled by global parameters, while the connectome structure remains unchanged. Grounded in the physics of delay-coupled oscillators, these numerical analyses demonstrate how interactions between locally generated fast oscillations in the connectome spacetime structure can lead to the emergence of collective brain rhythms organized in space and time.