Theta oscillations are believed to coordinate neuronal activity related to human cognition, especially for memory functions. Theta power during learning and retrieval has been found to correlate with memory performance success. Additionally, up-regulating theta oscillations during a post-encoding epoch crucial for memory consolidation was previously shown to benefit long-term memory for acquired motor sequences, pictures, and object-location associations. However, it remains to be determined whether such effects would be found for more ecological aspects of long-term episodic memory. Therefore, the current study assessed neurofeedback-based theta upregulation effects on movie memory. After viewing a 15-minute silent, narrative movie, participants engaged in neurofeedback-based theta/beta up-regulation, neurofeedback beta/theta up-regulation as an active control condition, or an unrelated passive control task. Memory was tested three times: once immediately after watching the movie (as baseline); 24 hours thereafter; and once again 1 week later. Memory performance 1 week after encoding was significantly enhanced in the theta/beta up-regulation group compared with the other groups. Additionally, changes in neurofeedback theta/beta ratio from baseline EEG recordings correlated with long-term memory gains in retrieving the movie's content. These findings highlight the relationship between post-learning theta oscillations and the consolidation of episodic memory for a naturalistic event.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is supported by the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation grant 2020679 to D.A.L.
© 2023, The Psychonomic Society, Inc.
- Episodic memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience