How brain rhythms form memories

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Open Access logo originally created by the Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Title: How brain rhythms form memories
Authors: Köster, Moritz
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Thomas Gruber
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Stefanie Höhl
Abstract: The wake human brain constantly samples perceptual information from the environment and integrates them into existing neuronal networks. Neuronal oscillations have been ascribed a key role in the formation of novel memories. The theta rhythm (3-8 Hz) reflects a central executive mechanism, which integrates novel information, reflected in theta-coupled gamma oscillations (> 30 Hz). Alpha oscillations (8-14 Hz) reflect an attentional gating mechanism, which inhibit task irrelevant neuronal processes. In my dissertation I further scrutinized the oscillatory dynamics of memory formation. Study 1 demonstrated that theta-gamma coupling reflects a specific mechanism for associative memory formation. In study 2, I experimentally entrained memory encoding by visual evoked theta-gamma coupling processes, to underline its functional relevance. In two developmental studies, I found that the theta rhythm indexes explicit learning processes in adults and young children (study 3), and that visually entrained theta oscillations are sensitive to the encoding of novel, unexpected events, already in the first year of life (study 4). Throughout these studies alpha oscillations were not sensitive to memory formation processes, but indicated perceptual (study 1) and semantic (study 3) processes. I propose an integrative framework, suggesting that the alpha rhythm reflects activated semantic representations in the neocortex, while theta-gamma coupling reflects an explicit mnemonic control mechanism, which selects, elaborates and integrates activated representations. Specifically, by squeezing real time events onto a faster, neuronal time scale, theta-gamma coding facilitates neuronal plasticity in medio-temporal networks and advances neuronal processes ahead of real time to emulate and guide future behavior.
Subject Keywords: Memory encoding; Neuronal oscillations; Electroencephalography
Issue Date: 27-Sep-2018
License name: Namensnennung-NichtKommerziell-KeineBearbeitung 3.0 Deutschland
License url:
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB08 - E-Dissertationen

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
thesis_koester.pdfPräsentationsformat812,66 kBAdobe PDF

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons