We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Neuroscience and Psychiatry |

Teamwork Matters Coordinated Neuronal Activity in Brain Systems Relevant to Psychiatric Disorders

Bita Moghaddam, PhD1; Jesse Wood, BS1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(2):197-199. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.2080.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


It is now widely recognized that dynamic coordination among groups of neurons in local and long-range circuits is critical for orchestration of behavior.1 This is especially relevant to the biological basis of psychiatric illnesses where behavior is the primary measure for determining the presence or severity of symptoms. Much of the focus in biological psychiatry has been on establishing a link between symptoms and either morphological abnormalities or altered expression of receptors or other proteins involved in neural communication. A recent line of thinking, however, posits that the mechanisms that lead to behavioral symptoms may not have a static anatomical or cellular basis but are caused by transient disruptions in the coordinated activity of ensembles of neurons.

Figures in this Article

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview


Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Methods Used for Quantifying Coordinated Activity in Local and Long-range Circuits

A, An extracellular recording electrode detects changes in voltage in the field surrounding groups of neurons. This multicomponent signal can be filtered with a high-pass filter (top) to isolate neuronal firing (known as “spikes”) or low-pass filtered to isolate the slower local field potential (LFP) oscillations (bottom). B, In different conditions, the same neurons can become part of different networks forming a transient “functional” network. The neurons in these networks can process similar or complementary types of information, and a network may dominate processing at one moment and lose prominence the next, depending on what processes are engaged. Thus, 2 networks supporting different cognitive or affective functions may comprise overlapping neurons. C, Neuronal responses vary from trial to trial. The correlation in activity between 2 neurons is termed noise correlation. The dark blue pair of neurons shows a positive linear correlation in their activity levels over these trials. The circles are blue to indicate that the neurons have formed a functional network, similar to part B. The white pair of neurons has a correlation near zero, which indicates no functional connectivity between the neurons. D, Network-wide activity may coordinate spiking activity when spikes occur at a particular angle of ongoing LFP oscillations. Left, Two spike trains and a 7-Hz oscillation. The upper spike train is strongly phase locked to the oscillation, and all spikes occur near the valley of the oscillation. In contrast, the lower spike train fires spikes that occur at opposite phase angles and is not phase locked. Middle, Magnitude of phase locking of medial prefrontal cortex neurons on trials where attention is allocated more or less optimally. On trials where a rat correctly detects the onset and location of a visual stimulus, phase locking is increased in several frequency bands compared with trials where the animal does not correctly detect the visual stimulus.6 Right, Polar histogram of an example neuron’s spike count distributed by the phase of a theta oscillation that occurred simultaneously with the neuron firing. The spikes are not distributed evenly across all phase angles but concentrated (locked) to a preferred phase angle. E, The relationship between LFP oscillations and neural activity can also be quantified by the correlation between the power of an oscillation and the firing rate of simultaneously recorded neurons. Left, Simulated correlated spiking and gamma band power. The neuron tends to fire more rapidly when the power of the gamma oscillation is higher. This correlation can reveal coupling between network input and neuronal output patterns. Right, Psychotomimetic drugs decorrelate spikes from gamma power in the prefrontal cortex.7

Graphic Jump Location




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

4 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles

Care at the Close of Life: Evidence and Experience
Psychological Disorders Contributing to Fatigue

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Original Article: Is This Patient Clinically Depressed?