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Thread: Buzzing the Brain with Electricity

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    Buzzing the Brain with Electricity

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...classicJournal ListeLifev.6; 2017PMC5349849
    * component id='MainPortlet' label='search-reference'/ Book content
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    eLife. 2017; 6: e22001.
    Published online 2017 Mar 14. doi: 10.7554/eLife.22001
    PMCID: PMC5349849


    Externally induced frontoparietal synchronization modulates network dynamics and enhances working memory performance
    Ines R Violante,1,2,* Lucia M Li,1 David W Carmichael,3 Romy Lorenz,1 Robert Leech,1 Adam Hampshire,1 John C Rothwell,2 and David J Sharp1
    Roy Hamilton, Reviewing editor
    Roy Hamilton, University of Pennsylvania, United States;
    Author information ► Article notes ► Copyright and License information ▼
    Copyright c 2017, Violante et al
    This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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    Abstract
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    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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22001.001
    Research Organism: Human
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    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.”
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