Navigation Links
UO researchers use rhythmic brain activity to track memories in progress
Date:6/5/2014

AUDIO: Edward Awh briefly describes the finding of his study on tracking early processing of working memory, and the differences between EEG and fMRI is studying the process. (41 seconds)

Click here for more information.

EUGENE, Ore. -- (June 5, 2014) -- University of Oregon researchers have tapped the rhythm of memories as they occur in near real time in the human brain.

Using electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes attached to the scalps of 25 student subjects, a UO team led by psychology doctoral student David E. Anderson captured synchronized neural activity while they held a held a simple oriented bar located within a circle in short-term memory. The team, by monitoring these alpha rhythms, was able to decode the precise angle of the bar the subjects were locking onto and use that brain activity to predict which individuals could store memories with the highest quality or precision.

The findings are detailed in the May 28 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. A color image illustrating how the item in memory was tracked by rhythmic brain activity in the alpha frequency band (8 to 12 beats per second) is on the journal's cover page to showcase the research.

Although past research has decoded thoughts via brain activity, standard approaches are expensive and limited in their ability to track fast-moving mental representations, said Edward Awh, a professor in the UO's Department of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience. The new findings show that EEG measures of synchronized neural activity can precisely track the contents of memory at almost the speed of thought, he said.

"These findings provide strong evidence that these electrical oscillations in the alpha frequency band play a key role in a person's ability to store a limited number of items in working memory," Awh said. "By identifying particular rhythms that are important to memory, we're getting closer to understanding the low-level building blocks of this really limited cognitive ability. If this rhythm is what allows people to hold things in mind, then understanding how that rhythm is generated -- and what restricts the number of things that can be represented -- may provide insights into the basic capacity limits of the mind."

The findings emerged from a basic research project led by Awh and co-author Edward K. Vogel -- funded by the National Institutes of Health -- that seeks to understand the limits of storing information. "It turns out that it's quite restricted," Awh said. "People can only think about a couple of things at a time, and they miss things that would seem to be extremely obvious and memorable if that limited set of resources is diverted elsewhere."

Past work, mainly using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has established that brain activity can track the content of memory. EEG, however, provides a much less expensive approach and can track mental activity with much a higher temporal resolution of about one-tenth of a second compared to about five seconds with fMRI.

"With EEG we get a fine-grained measure of the precise contents of memory, while benefitting from the superior temporal resolution of electrophysiological measures," Awh said. "This EEG approach is a powerful new tool for tracking and decoding mental representations with high temporal resolution. It should provide us with new insights into how rhythmic brain activity supports core memory processes."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. FAPESP announces the SPRINT -- Sao Paulo Researchers in International Collaboration
2. UCLA researchers identify new gene involved in Parkinsons disease
3. Moffitt researchers develop process to help personalize treatment for lung cancer patients
4. Researchers to expand child exploitation web-crawler
5. Carnegie Mellon researchers discover social integration improves lung function in elderly
6. Researchers discover hormone that controls supply of iron in red blood cell production
7. Mount Sinai researchers to present studies at American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting
8. JAX cancer researchers awarded NCI provocative questions grants
9. Nationally-recognized health policy researchers and experts convene in San Diego June 8-10
10. Researchers address major geographic disparities in access to kidney transplantation
11. Mount Sinai researchers lead committee to define the clinical course of multiple sclerosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UO researchers use rhythmic brain activity to track memories in progress
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is proud to host ... items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds and awareness for ... The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," ... on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions ... Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one of ... innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support ... your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. ... recently contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal ... spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal Foundation announce a ... sensors for real-time monitoring of patients with trauma-related and ... focused on disruptive health solutions for rare disorders and ... record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological and contextual data. ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) ... letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to severely active ... clinical data are needed to further evaluate the safety ... active RA. ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017 ... , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, ... offer a strategic hub service that expedites and streamlines ... personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... is a medical device used to measure lung function ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: