Gamma oscillations and the cellular components of consciousness?
There is evidence to suggest that synchronised neuronal activity, particularly that in the gamma frequency range (~30–100Hz) might contribute to conscious perception. In this chapter I shall discuss what we know about the mechanisms that underlie the generation of gamma frequency activity and the changes known to occur in diseases such as schizophrenia. Until recently it was difficult to test the role of individual neuronal subtypes in the generation of network oscillations. However, using the newly developed optogenetic techniques (in which cells are genetically modulated to make them responsive to specific wavelengths of light) it should now be possible to directly test the contribution of different neuronal classes to the generation of network oscillations and perhaps, therefore, consciousness.