Resting cortical activity is characterized by a distinct spectral peak in the alpha frequency range. Slowing of this oscillatory peak toward the upper theta-band has been associated with a variety of neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions and has been attributed to altered thalamocortical dynamics. Children born very preterm exhibit altered development of thalamocortical systems. To test the hypothesis that peak oscillatory frequency is slowed in children born very preterm, we recorded resting magnetoencephalography (MEG) from school age children born very preterm (= 32 wk gestation) without major intellectual or neurological impairment and age-matched full-term controls. Very preterm children exhibit a slowing of peak frequency toward the theta-band over bilateral frontal cortex, together with reduced alpha-band power over bilateral frontal and temporal cortex, suggesting that mildly dysrhythmic thalamocortical interactions may contribute to altered spontaneous cortical activity in children born very preterm.
Doesburg, S. M., Ribary, U., Herdman, A. T., Moiseev, A., Cheung, T., Miller, S. P., Poskitt, K. J., Weinberg, H., Whitfield, M. F., Synnes, A., & Grunau, R. E. (2011). Magnetoencephalography reveals slowing of resting peak oscillatory frequency in children born very preterm. Pediatric Research, 70(2), 171-5. https://doi.org/10.1203/PDR.0b013e3182225a9e