A “controversy” about whether brain waves play a functional role.

An article in Scientific American discusses the debate about whether brain waves have a function or whether they are an epiphenomenon: Do Brain Waves Conduct Neural Activity Like a Symphony?    There are so many things wrong with this debate. We know so little about how the brain functions. To dismiss observable signals as an epiphenomenon assumes a level […]

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Watch: The Relation Between Psychology and Neuroscience from CNS 2019

Whether we study single cells, measure populations of neurons, characterize anatomical structure, or quantify BOLD, whether we collect reaction times or construct computational models, it is a presupposition of our field that we strive to bridge the neurosciences and the psychological/cognitive sciences. Our tools provide us with ever-greater spatial resolution and ideal temporal resolution. But […]

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Why Sleep?: Watch Matthew Walker’s CNS 2019 Keynote

To kick off the 26th annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Matthew Walker (UC Berkeley) gave audience members a detailed look at the myriad physiological and cognitive ways sleep influences people — and the dire consequences associated with not getting enough sleep. His presentation touched on learning, memory, aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and education, as […]

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Exploring the “Dark Side” of Brain Imaging

Q&A with Robert Thibault Guest Post by David Mehler Neuroimaging. For many people, this term invokes the thought of a photographer taking a snapshot of brain activity and then looking at the still. Cognitive neuroscientists, however, know this couldn’t be further from the truth. Image parameters, data cleaning, and statistical analyses all affect the final […]

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Sharpening Understanding of How the Deaf Brain Sees

Q&A with Stephen Lomber We often see it in superhero movies: When people are deprived of one sense, they develop superhuman powers in another sense. While those depictions may be exaggerated, the underlying premise has a real scientific basis. When the brain is deprived of input from one sense, such as hearing, it often compensates […]

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Controlling the Urge to Relieve Pain

The internal battle between the need to act and the need to suppress an action is something I have been through multiple times this summer: trying to suppress the urge to scratch itchy mosquito bites. Such a state is common in everyday life and also important to several clinical disorders but has yet to be […]

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New Paper: Altering alpha-frequency brain oscillations with rapid analog feedback-driven neurostimulation

Widge, A.S., Boggess, M., Rockhill, A.P., Mullen, A., Sheopory, S., Loonis, R. Freeman, D.K., and Miller, E.K.  (2018)  Altering alpha-frequency brain oscillations with rapid analog feedback-driven neurostimulation. PLOS ONE Abstract Oscillations of the brain’s local field potential (LFP) may coordinate neural ensembles and brain networks. It has been difficult to causally test this model or […]

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New paper: Deep brain stimulation of the internal capsule enhances human cognitive control and prefrontal cortex function

Widge, A.S.,  Zorowitz, S., Basu, I.  Paulk, A., Cash, S., Eskandar, E., Deckersbach, T., Miller, E.K., and Dougherty, D.  (2019) Deep brain stimulation of the internal capsule enhances human cognitive control and prefrontal cortex function. Nature Communications. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09557-4  View PDF Summary: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a circuit-oriented treatment for mental disorders. Unfortunately, even well-conducted psychiatric DBS […]

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Alpha Oscillations Modulate Preparatory Activity in Marmoset Area 8Ad

More evidence that cognitive control stems from low-frequency rhythms in deep-layer cortex inhibiting superficial layer cortex. Johnston, K., Ma, L., Schaeffer, L., & Everling, S. (2019). Alpha Oscillations Modulate Preparatory Activity in Marmoset Area 8Ad. Journal of Neuroscience, 39(10), 1855-1866. For further reading see: Miller, E.K., Lundqvist, L., and Bastos, A.M. (2018) Working Memory 2.0  Neuron,  DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.09.023  View PDF […]

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Causal Evidence for the Role of Neuronal Oscillations in Top–Down and Bottom–Up Attention

This paper provides further evidence for different roles for beta vs gamma oscillations in attention. The authors used TMS to provide evidence that beta stimulation affects top-down attention whereas gamma stimulation affects bottom-up attention. This corresponds nicely with recent work in animals. Riddle, J., Hwang, K., Cellier, D., Dhanani, S., & D’Esposito, M. (2019). Causal […]

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