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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2011 Feb;12(2):105-18. doi: 10.1038/nrn2979.

The role of phase synchronization in memory processes.

Author information

1
Department of Epileptology, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25, D-53105 Bonn, Germany. juergen.fell@ukb.uni-bonn.de

Abstract

In recent years, studies ranging from single-unit recordings in animals to electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography studies in humans have demonstrated the pivotal role of phase synchronization in memory processes. Phase synchronization - here referring to the synchronization of oscillatory phases between different brain regions - supports both working memory and long-term memory and acts by facilitating neural communication and by promoting neural plasticity. There is evidence that processes underlying working and long-term memory might interact in the medial temporal lobe. We propose that this is accomplished by neural operations involving phase-phase and phase-amplitude synchronization. A deeper understanding of how phase synchronization supports the flexibility of and interaction between memory systems may yield new insights into the functions of phase synchronization in general.

PMID:
21248789
DOI:
10.1038/nrn2979
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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