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Brain. 2018 Apr 1;141(4):971-978. doi: 10.1093/brain/awx373.

Evidence for verbal memory enhancement with electrical brain stimulation in the lateral temporal cortex.

Author information

1
Mayo Clinic, Department of Neurology, Rochester MN, USA.
2
Mayo Clinic, Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, Rochester MN, USA.
3
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychology, Philadelphia PA, USA.
4
University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Department of Radiology, Philadelphia PA, USA.
5
Czech Technical University, Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics, Prague, Czech Republic.
6
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Department of Neurology, Philadelphia PA, USA.
7
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Department of Radiology, Philadelphia PA, USA.
8
University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Department of Neurology, Philadelphia PA, USA.
9
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Department of Neurology, Lebanon NH, USA.
10
Emory University, Department of Neurosurgery, Atlanta GA, USA.
11
UT Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Neurosurgery, Dallas TX, USA.
12
Mayo Clinic, Department of Neurosurgery, Rochester MN, USA.

Abstract

Direct electrical stimulation of the human brain can elicit sensory and motor perceptions as well as recall of memories. Stimulating higher order association areas of the lateral temporal cortex in particular was reported to activate visual and auditory memory representations of past experiences (Penfield and Perot, 1963). We hypothesized that this effect could be used to modulate memory processing. Recent attempts at memory enhancement in the human brain have been focused on the hippocampus and other mesial temporal lobe structures, with a few reports of memory improvement in small studies of individual brain regions. Here, we investigated the effect of stimulation in four brain regions known to support declarative memory: hippocampus, parahippocampal neocortex, prefrontal cortex and temporal cortex. Intracranial electrode recordings with stimulation were used to assess verbal memory performance in a group of 22 patients (nine males). We show enhanced performance with electrical stimulation in the lateral temporal cortex (paired t-test, P = 0.0067), but not in the other brain regions tested. This selective enhancement was observed both on the group level, and for two of the four individual subjects stimulated in the temporal cortex. This study shows that electrical stimulation in specific brain areas can enhance verbal memory performance in humans.awx373media15704855796001.

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PMID:
29324988
DOI:
10.1093/brain/awx373
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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