Ten epileptic patients each with subdural electrodes surgically attached to the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC; two cases), the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC; seven cases), or both (one case) were included in this study. We recorded each patient's ACC or OFC electrocorticogram (ECoG) during the time period that the patient was awake and naturally asleep. We performed a Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) power spectral analysis on each ECoG to examine its frequency component. We found that the ACC showed regular and continuous theta oscillation (5-7Hz) during wakefulness and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, but not during slow wave sleep. Theta waves observed in REM sleep were not as distinct as those found in wakefulness. We also discovered that the orbitofrontal signals represented spectral peaks in the theta band only during wakefulness. This suggests the coexistence of theta oscillation in the ACC. Considering our previous observations of gamma and beta oscillations in the human hippocampus, we hypothesize that the human limbic system manifests two oscillatory activities. The results obtained in this study suggest that electrophysiological activity in the ACC could be related to particular psychological functions in wakefulness and in REM sleep. These results are useful in elucidating the human brain mechanism.
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