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Deep brain stimulation modifies memory

July 29, 2019

Deep brain stimulation of the cingulate cortex worsens memory recall, according to research in epilepsy patients published in JNeurosci. The technique could be a way to target specific brain areas in the treatment of memory disorders.

Vaidehi Natu and colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center stimulated the posterior cingulate cortex, a brain region involved in memory, using electrodes inserted into the brains of epilepsy patients to treat seizures. The participants were shown a list of words, distracted, and then asked to recall the words.

Natu's team discovered that stimulating the cingulate cortex reduced the number of recalled words and modified hippocampal brain waves compared to no stimulation. This establishes a direct role for the cingulate cortex in memory encoding and demonstrates that memories can be manipulated via deep brain stimulation, which has implications for the treatment of memory disorders.
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Manuscript title*: Stimulation of the Posterior Cingulate Cortex Impairs Episodic Memory Encoding

*A preprint of this manuscript is available on bioRxiv

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About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

Society for Neuroscience

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