Beta Rhythms

  • Christoph Börgers
Part of the Texts in Applied Mathematics book series (TAM, volume 66)


Oscillations at frequencies of approximately 12–30 ​Hz — roughly half the gamma frequency — are called beta oscillations or beta rhythms in neuroscience. Many experimental studies have linked beta oscillations to motor function. They are, in particular, more pronounced during holding periods, and attenuated during voluntary movement. Engel and Fries [44] have hypothesized that more generally, beta oscillations may signal the expectation or intent of maintaining a sensorimotor or cognitive status quo. (The sensorimotor areas of the brain are those that combine sensory and motor functions.) This fits with the observation that in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and the associated slowed movement (bradykinesia), power and coherence of beta oscillations in the basal ganglia are abnormally high, and are attenuated by levodopa, a drug commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease [20].


Pyramidal Cell Gamma Oscillation Sensorimotor Area Gamma Frequency Beta Frequency 
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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Börgers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsTufts UniversityMedfordUSA

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