Tuning Neural Synchronization: The Role of Variable Oscillation Frequencies in Neural Circuits

Eric Lowet, Peter De Weerd, Mark J. Roberts, Avgis Hadjipapas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Brain oscillations emerge during sensory and cognitive processes and have been classified into different frequency bands. Yet, even within the same frequency band and between nearby brain locations, the exact frequencies of brain oscillations can differ. These frequency differences (detuning) have been largely ignored and play little role in current functional theories of brain oscillations. This contrasts with the crucial role that detuning plays in synchronization theory, as originally derived in physical systems. Here, we propose that detuning is equally important to understand synchronization in biological systems. Detuning is a critical control parameter in synchronization, which is not only important in shaping phase-locking, but also in establishing preferred phase relations between oscillators. We review recent evidence that frequency differences between brain locations are ubiquitous and essential in shaping temporal neural coordination. With the rise of powerful experimental techniques to probe brain oscillations, the contributions of exact frequency and detuning across neural circuits will become increasingly clear and will play a key part in developing a new understanding of the role of oscillations in brain function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number908665
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2022


  • Arnold tongue
  • frequency
  • neural circuits
  • oscillation
  • synchronization


Dive into the research topics of 'Tuning Neural Synchronization: The Role of Variable Oscillation Frequencies in Neural Circuits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this