Title of Abstract: Exploring a Causal Role of Theta Oscillations for Increased Episodic Memory Performance
Mentors’ Organization or Department: Neuroscience Program, Bowdoin College
Research Abstract: We aimed to determine the specific oscillatory parameters at which episodic memory retrieval is optimized. By employing transcranial alternating stimulus (tACS), we tested participants’ performance on memory tasks when stimulated at theta frequency retrieval stages. While stimulation at theta frequency during encoding has been previously studied, memory performance after stimulation during retrieval has not been explored (Antonenko et al., 2016; Kirov et al., 2009). We predicted that tACS stimulation at theta frequency during retrieval stages of a source recognition task would result in improved task performance compared to stimulation at sham and control frequencies. Much data analysis remains to be completed, but the ultimate results will help advance novel therapeutics for treating disorders involving episodic memory deficits such as Alzheimer’s and other learning disorders.