Go to: Abstract article-meta Cognitive functions such as working memory (WM) are emergent properties of large-scale network interactions. Synchronisation of oscillatory activity might contribute to WM by enabling the coordination of long-range processes. However, causal evidence for the way oscillatory activity shapes network dynamics and behavior in humans is limited. Here we applied transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) to exogenously modulate oscillatory activity in a right frontoparietal network that supports WM. Externally induced synchronization improved performance when cognitive demands were high. Simultaneously collected fMRI data reveals tACS effects dependent on the relative phase of the stimulation and the internal cognitive processing state. Specifically, synchronous tACS during the verbal WM task increased parietal activity, which correlated with behavioral performance. Furthermore, functional connectivity results indicate that the relative phase of frontoparietal stimulation influences information flow within the WM network. Overall, our findings demonstrate a link between behavioral performance in a demanding WM task and large-scale brain synchronization. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22001.001 Research Organism: Human
neurosciencenews.com/tacs-working-memory-6245/ “The next step is to see if the brain stimulation works in patients with brain injury, in combination with brain imaging, where patients have lesions which impair long range communication in their brains. “The hope is that it could eventually be used for these patients, or even those who have suffered a stroke or who have epilepsy.”
Anything that helps people with cognitive impairment is a good thing. The problem with the brain, though, is the fact that damaged areas cease to function. Once a particular part of the brain dies off, it can never come back to life. In some cases it is possible to build neuro-networks in other parts of the brain to compensate for the damaged areas. What fascinates me are the rare people who have strokes or damage their brains and end up with remarkable abilities, like they're able to play musical instruments or produce fantastic works of art. I think there is some kind of quantum wave like function going on in people's brains, which enable them to tune into universal forces. This remarkable organ is so little understood. We take it for granted. Yet when it goes wrong it has devastating consequences.
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