Date of Award

Summer 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Diego Contreras


Gamma oscillations (20-50 Hz) are a robust component of brain activity associated with information processing, but are also part of the background spontaneous activity during various brain states including sleep and anesthesia. Our goal was to examine the changes in gamma oscillations that result from pharmacological and genetic manipulations of glutamatergic transmission which produce endophenotypes of schizophrenia. We recorded local field potentials (LFP) and single units through the depth of the mouse primary visual cortex in vivo and examined the alterations in gamma frequency activity under both normal and pathological conditions. Our results indicate that both in awake and anesthetized animals, baseline gamma frequency power in the LFP is increased throughout the cortical lamina, and the signal-to-noise ratio of gamma oscillations produced by a visual stimulus is diminished, most notably in the superficial layers. In addition, the entrainment of single units to the local oscillations in the LFP is reduced in the supragranular (L2/3) and infragranular (L5/6) layers. This work supports the hypothesis that alterations in glutamatergic transmission result in changes to gamma oscillations in primary sensory areas and is consistent with the hypothesis that these changes are associated with disrupted sensory perception.

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