Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Stan Leung

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Seyed Mirsattari

Joint Supervisor


The thalamocortical network is responsible for the generation of spike-and-wave discharges (SWDs) in absence epilepsy. Recent studies suggest a potential involvement of the hippocampus, which may explain the variability in the extent of cognitive deficits among patients with absence epilepsy. I hypothesize that the hippocampus may become entrained in spike-and-wave discharges following thalamocortical activation. The gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) rat model of absence seizures was used in this thesis. Following GBL injection, SWDs of 4 to 6 Hz developed in the spontaneous local field potentials (LFPs) recorded by depth electrodes in the thalamus, neocortex and hippocampus. Synchronization of hippocampal, thalamic and neocortical SWDs was revealed by coherence analysis of the LFPs, and multiple unit activity of hippocampal neurons occurred within 250 msec prior to the negative peak of thalamic SWDs. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) demonstrated functional connectivity between the hippocampus and the thalamocortical network. Thus, electrophysiological and fMRI activity of the hippocampus were shown to be time-locked to the thalamocortical SWDs, suggesting functional connectivity of the hippocampus and thalamocortical network during GBL-induced absence seizures.