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Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00095

The involvement of endogenous neural oscillations in the processing of rhythmic input: more than a regular repetition of evoked neural responses

  • 1MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (MRC),University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Netherlands

It is undisputed that presenting a rhythmic stimulus leads to a measurable brain response that follows the rhythmic structure of this stimulus. What is still debated, however, is the question whether this brain response exclusively reflects a regular repetition of evoked responses, or whether it also includes entrained oscillatory activity. Here we systematically present evidence in favour of an involvement of entrained neural oscillations in the processing of rhythmic input while critically pointing out which questions still need to be addressed before this evidence could be considered conclusive. In this context, we also explicitly discuss the potential functional role of such entrained oscillations, suggesting that these stimulus-aligned oscillations reflect, and serve as, predictive processes, an idea often only implicitly assumed in the literature.

Keywords: entrainment, phase, ERP, evoked response, power, oscillation, endogenous

Received: 29 Nov 2017; Accepted: 05 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Joachim Lange, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Germany

Reviewed by:

Andreas Keil, University of Florida, United States
Christian Keitel, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Kyle E. Mathewson, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta, Canada  

Copyright: © 2018 Zoefel, Ten Oever and Sack. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Benedikt Zoefel, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (MRC),University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom,