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Facilitating Cognition: The brain enhancing potential of brain stimulation techniques

Team:Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Psych. Dr. Anja Ischebeck &
Ao.Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Eugen Gallasch
Shane Fresnoza, Ph.D

The cognitive ability of the individual is more and more taxed in modern information society.  Noninvasive brain stimulation methods habe the potential to enhance cognitive performance without side effects. Different methods of brain stimulation are used in the project, such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Brain stimulation methods have already been shown to effectively enhance performance in different performance areas, for example, complex motor tasks, language learning and arithmetic. It is the main goal of this project, to understand how brain stimulation influences basic cognitive processes, such as attention, working memory, visual perception and motor processing. These basic cognitive processes are a precondition for complex problem solving. Understanding the mechanism behind brain stimulation during these tasks is necessary for the development of tools and stimulation protocolls for practical applications. We will not only record participant responses but also measure eye movements. Furthermore, electroencephalography (EEG) as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) will be applied to investigate the neural basis of the cognitive enhancement induced by brain stimulation techniques. In our first experiment series tACS is used to positively influence brain function in young and older healthy adults with regard to motor processing and motor learning.

 

Project Leader

Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Psych. Dr.

Anja Ischebeck

Universitätsplatz 2/III
8010 Graz, Austria

Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 5118
Fax:+43 (0)316 380 - 9806

Ao.Univ.-Prof. DI Dr.

Eugen Gallasch

Institut für Physiologie

Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 4265
Fax:+43 (0)316 380 - 9630

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