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Could Zapping Your Brain With Electricity Improve Your Memory?

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Channel: Seeker
Categories: Biology   |   Psychology   |   Science  
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Your memory starts to degrade with age, but what exactly happens in your brain if there was a little zap to it? Here's what scientists discovered.

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Working memory
"One conclusion that arises from research is that working memory, a faculty that enables temporary storage and manipulation of information in the service of behavioral goals, can be viewed as neither a unitary, nor a dedicated system. Data from numerous neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies in animals and humans demonstrates that a network of brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex, is critical for the active maintenance of internal representations."

Working memory revived in older adults by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits
"We developed a noninvasive stimulation procedure for modulating long-range theta interactions in adults aged 60–76 years. After 25 min of stimulation, frequency-tuned to individual brain network dynamics, we observed a preferential increase in neural synchronization patterns and the return of sender–receiver relationships of information flow within and between frontotemporal regions. The end result was rapid improvement in working-memory performance that outlasted a 50 min post-stimulation period."

How working memory gets you through the day
“What’s special about working memory is that it is volitional,” says Miller, the Picower Professor at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. “It is the main mechanism by which your brain wrests control from the environment and puts it under its own control. Any simple creature can just react to the environment. But what higher order animals have evolved is the ability to take control over their own thoughts.”


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