Modulating brain oscillations to drive brain function

Thut, G. (2014) Modulating brain oscillations to drive brain function. PLoS Biology, 12(12), e1002032. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002032) (PMID:25549340) (PMCID:PMC4280126)

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Do neuronal oscillations play a causal role in brain function? In a study in this issue of PLOS Biology, Helfrich and colleagues address this long-standing question by attempting to drive brain oscillations using transcranial electrical current stimulation. Remarkably, they were able to manipulate visual perception by forcing brain oscillations of the left and right visual hemispheres into synchrony using oscillatory currents over both hemispheres. Under this condition, human observers more often perceived an inherently ambiguous visual stimulus in one of its perceptual instantiations. These findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying neuronal computation. They show that it is the neuronal oscillations that drive the visual experience, not the experience driving the oscillations. And they indicate that synchronized oscillatory activity groups brain areas into functional networks. This points to new ways for controlled experimental and possibly also clinical interventions for the study and modulation of brain oscillations and associated functions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thut, Professor Gregor
Authors: Thut, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:PLoS Biology
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1545-7885
Published Online:30 December 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Author
First Published:First published in PLoS Biology 12(12):e1002032
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
597911Natural and modulated neural communication: State-dependent decoding and driving of human Brain OscillationsGregor ThutWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)098434/Z/12/ZINP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING