The Effect Of Stimulating Brain Oscillations On Memory Performance

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In recent years, a growing number of research has looked at the effects of stimulating brain oscillations on memory performance. Brain oscillations are fluctuations in local field potentials, caused by the input of neurons in to a specific cell assembly (Hanslmayr, Staudigl, & Fellner, 2012). In response to a stimulus, alpha (~10 Hz) and beta (~15-30 Hz) oscillation power decrease in activity, while theta (~4-7 Hz) and gamma (~40-100 Hz) oscillations increase (Hanslmayr & Staudigl, 2014). The changes in oscillatory power evoked by a stimulus modulate synaptic plasticity, the basis of memory formation (Düzel, Penny, & Burgess, 2010). Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique used in the entrainment of cortical oscillations (Ali, Sellers, & Fröhlich, 2013). tACS induces extracellular voltage fluctuations that arise from neural activity via electrodes placed on the scalp (Jutras & Buffalo, 2014). It allows the frequency and amplitude of oscillations to be alternated during stimulation, in a way that is less likely to entrain oscillations other than the intended frequency, making it a more specific technique to use (Herrmann, Rach, Neuling, & Strüber, 2013). The basic assumption is that if oscillations are essential to a specific cognitive function, then using tACS to stimulate these oscillations should elicit that particular function (Sejnowski & Paulsen, 2006). The current study will use tACS in order to monitor

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