MIT News Office: Neurons hum at different frequencies to tell the brain which memories it should store.
New discovery from the Miller Lab
Anne Trafton | MIT News Office
February 23, 2015
Our brains generate a constant hum of activity: As neurons fire, they produce brain waves that oscillate at different frequencies. Long thought to be merely a byproduct of neuron activity, recent studies suggest that these waves may play a critical role in communication between different parts of the brain.
A new study from MIT neuroscientists adds to that evidence. The researchers found that two brain regions that are key to learning — the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex — use two different brain-wave frequencies to communicate as the brain learns to associate unrelated objects. Whenever the brain correctly links the objects, the waves oscillate at a higher frequency, called “beta,” and when the guess is incorrect, the waves oscillate at a lower “theta” frequency. Read more
About the Author
The Miller Lab uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neural basis of the high-level cognitive functions that underlie complex goal-directed behavior. ekmillerlab.mit.edu