Surfing Neural Waves
Brainwaves are more than just lightbulb moments. These neural patterns help coordinate the vast amount of information that flows through our brains. Also known as neural oscillations, brainwaves are rhythmic electrical pulses that travel through the brain and help to link various neural networks. Scientists have recently shed more light on the role these waves play in memory and cognition. When individuals are performing well on a memory task, the team found that two types of brain oscillations called theta and alpha waves travel in consistent patterns across the brain. With each colour representing a different direction, this image shows the average direction of these two waves as they move across the brain. This study is one of the few so far that have demonstrated how, and potentially why, brainwaves help connect different brain regions, ultimately allowing us to better interact with the world around us.
Written by Gaëlle Coullon
- Image from a video from work by Honghui Zhang and colleagues
- School of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
- Image/video copyright Elsevier 2018. Reproduced with permission.
- Published in Neuron, June 2018