Prominent 7-12 Hz oscillations in frontal cortical networks in rats have been reported. However, the mechanism of generation and the physiological function of this brain rhythm have not yet been clarified. Multi-channel extracellular field potentials of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were recorded and analyzed using the current source density method in halothane-anesthetized rats. Spontaneous high-current spikes (HCSs) were localized in the deep part of layer II/III and upper part of layer V of the ACC. The frequency of HCSs in the ACC was 7-12 Hz, with an amplitude of 6.5 ± 0.76 mV/mm and duration of 55.24 ± 2.43 ms. The power density significantly decreased (84.56% ± 6.93%, < 0.05, -test) after pinching the hindpaw and significantly increased (149.28% ± 15.96%) after treatment with morphine. The suppressive effect of pinching was reversed by naloxone (0.7 mg/kg, i.p.). HCSs coincided with initiation of the depolarization of cingulate neurons and remained in a depolarized upstate. The occurrence of cingulate HCSs was persistently preceded by a hyperpolarization phase and a burst of multiunit spike activity in the medial dorsal thalamic nucleus (MD). Spontaneous field-potential oscillations changed from 10 Hz to a lower band (i.e., ∼7.5 Hz) when a central poststroke pain (CPSP) condition was induced. The CPSP group had a higher average coherence coefficient compared with the control group. Our results indicate that spontaneous cingulate cortical HCSs could be initiated by thalamocortical synaptic inputs from the MD and maintained by intracortical neuronal upstate mechanisms in physiological and pathological pain states.This study elucidated the mechanism of generation and physiological function of prominent 7-12 Hz frequency oscillations in frontal cortical networks in rats. Spontaneous cingulate cortical high-current spikes in anesthetized rats could be initiated by thalamocortical synaptic inputs from the medial dorsal thalamic nucleus and maintained by intracortical neuronal upstate mechanisms. Suppression of the anterior cingulate cortex-filtered EEG during noxious stimulation may have resulted from the desynchronization of high-current spikes in the ACC. The enhancement of fast Fourier transform power after a systemic morphine injection suggested that the opioid system may play an important role in synchronizing cingulate cortical neuronal networks. Spontaneous cingulate high-current spikes may also play an important role in thalamocortical dysrhythmia in central poststroke pain.