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In humans, monkeys, and rodents, it is possible to detect short bursts of up to 150 milliseconds of beta waves - a specific section of the brainwave spectrum - within a frequency range of 15 hertz to 30 hertz. Researchers up to now connected these events with memory, motion, and perception. During what is known as neuro-feedback training, rats always receive a reward when their brain produces a burst in the beta frequency range. This increases not only the recurrence of beta frequency bursts, but the total amplitude of this frequency range as well.
Through their work, Diester and her team have been able to predict beta range bursts in rats based on the rats movements - particularly in the front half of the rats' bodies. This new method paves the way for investigating the role of beta bursts in specific behaviors. Because beta frequencies play a significant role in motion control, the method also opens new approaches in neuroprosthetics - the development and application of electronic implants for the restoration of damaged nerve function.
At the Institute of Biology III and BrainLinks-BrainTools, Diester leads a working group that is using optophysiology - or new types of optical tools - to investigate the functioning of neural circuitry. The researchers are probing the neural underpinnings of motor and cognitive control as well as interactions between the prefrontal and motor cortex, which are both parts of the cerebral cortex. Source:
University of Freiburg Journal reference:
Karvat, G., et al. (2020) Real-time detection of neural oscillation bursts allows behaviourally relevant neurofeedback. Communications Biology. doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-0801-z .
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