Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Mats van Es (Donders series 471)

17 December 2020

Promotor: prof. dr. P. Hagoort, co-promotor: dr. J. Schoffelen

On the role of oscillatory synchrony in neural processing and behavior​

The brain is capable of responding to the environment dynamically and thus producing the appropriate behavior. This happens for example by changing the physical connections in the brain, but on a short time scale especially by tuning the relevant brain areas to each other through brain waves. I investigated how brain waves affect local brain activity and how this changes behavior. I did this by letting volunteers do computer tasks while recording brain activity with an MEG device. For example, they had to respond to a changing image. I showed how the strength of the characteristic brain signal of that image depends on the presence of fast brain waves. If the presence of fast brain waves was high in the visual brain area, the characteristic brain signal was stronger and people reacted faster to it. This shows that fast brain waves are related to the efficiency of the brain process.