Hypothesis-driven methods to augment human cognition by optimizing cortical oscillations

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  • Radboud University


Cortical oscillations have been shown to represent fundamental functions of a working brain, e.g., communication, stimulus binding, error monitoring, and inhibition, and are directly linked to behavior. Recent studies intervening with these oscillations have demonstrated effective modulation of both the oscillations and behavior. In this review, we collect evidence in favor of how hypothesis-driven methods can be used to augment cognition by optimizing cortical oscillations. We elaborate their potential usefulness for three target groups: healthy elderly, patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and healthy young adults. We discuss the relevance of neuronal oscillations in each group and show how each of them can benefit from the manipulation of functionally-related oscillations. Further, we describe methods for manipulation of neuronal oscillations including direct brain stimulation as well as indirect task alterations. We also discuss practical considerations about the proposed techniques. In conclusion, we propose that insights from neuroscience should guide techniques to augment human cognition, which in turn can provide a better understanding of how the human brain works.


Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2014

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