Neurons produce rhythmic patterns of electrical activity in the brain. One of the unsettled questions in the field of neuroscience is what primarily drives these rhythmic signals, called oscillations. University of Arizona researchers - including Arne Ekstrom, professor of Cognition and Neural Systems in the UArizona Department of Psychology and senior author of the study - have found that simply remembering events can trigger them, even more so than when people are experiencing the actual event.
The results of the study could have implications for treating patients with brain damage and cognitive impairments, including patients who have experienced seizures, stroke and Parkinson's disease, Ekstrom said. Memory could be used to create stimulations from within the brain and drive theta oscillations, which could potentially lead to improvements in memory over time, he said.