Driving working memory with frequency-tuned noninvasive brain stimulation.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Ann N Y Acad Sci (2018)


<p>Frequency-tuned noninvasive brain stimulation is a recent approach in cognitive neuroscience that involves matching the frequency of transcranially applied electromagnetic fields to that of specific oscillatory components of the underlying neurophysiology. The objective of this method is to modulate ongoing/intrinsic brain oscillations, which correspond to rhythmic fluctuations of neural excitability, to causally change behavior. We review the impact of frequency-tuned noninvasive brain stimulation on the research field of human working memory. We argue that this is a powerful method to probe and understand the mechanisms of memory functions, targeting specifically task-related oscillatory dynamics, neuronal representations, and brain networks. We report the main behavioral and neurophysiological outcomes published to date, in particular, how functionally relevant oscillatory signatures in signal power and interregional connectivity yield causal changes of working memory abilities. We also present recent developments of the technique that aim to modulate cross-frequency coupling in polyrhythmic neural activity. Overall, the method has led to significant advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of systems neuroscience, and the role of brain oscillations in cognition and behavior. We also emphasize the translational impact of noninvasive brain stimulation techniques in the development of therapeutic approaches.</p>

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