Theta (2–8 Hz), alpha (8–12 Hz), beta (12–35 Hz), and gamma (>35 Hz) rhythms are ubiquitous in the cortex. However, there is little understanding of whether they have similar properties and functions in different cortical areas because they have rarely been compared across them. We record neuronal spikes and local field potentials simultaneously at several levels of the cortical hierarchy in monkeys. Theta, alpha, beta, and gamma oscillations had similar relationships to spiking activity in visual, parietal, and prefrontal cortices. However, the frequencies in all bands increased up the cortical hierarchy. These results suggest that these rhythms have similar inhibitory and excitatory functions across the cortex. We discuss how the increase in frequencies up the cortical hierarchy may help sculpt cortical flow and processing.

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