Donnerstag, 02. August 2018, 13:30 - 14:30 iCal

Gastvortrag Dr. Moritz Köster

How brain rhythms form memories – a developmental perspective

Hörsaal G
Liebiggasse 5, linke Stiege, 2. Stock, 1010 Wien


How brain rhythms form memories – a developmental perspective


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. Specifically, 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. Across several studies we further scrutinized the oscillatory dynamics of memory formation and its development in early childhood and infancy. In study 1, we demonstrated that theta-gamma coupling reflects a specific mechanism for associative memory formation. In a second study, using visual brain stimulation, we entrained memory encoding by visual evoked theta oscillations, to underline their functional relevance. In two developmental studies, we 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.


Institut für Angewandte Psychologie: Gesundheit, Entwicklung und Förderung


Univ.Prof. Dr. Stefanie Höhl
Fakultät für Psychologie
Inst. f. Angewandte Psychologie: Gesundheit, Entwicklung und Förderung, AB Entwicklungspsychologie