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Oscillations provide Insights into the Brain’s Navigation System (A02)

The Press Department of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum reports on their News portal: Brain oscillations that can be measured using depth electrodes provide insights into the human navigation system. The method may open up new approaches for early Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

The brain creates a map of our environment, which enables reliable spatial navigation. The Nobel Prize was awarded in 2014 for research into how this navigation system works at the cellular level. Researchers at the Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, among them Nikolai Axmacher (Project Leader A02, A03, F02) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have now shown that the characteristics of this navigation system are also present in brain oscillations that can be measured using depth electrodes in the human brain.

The possibility of testing the neuronal navigation system in this way may open up new approaches for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. A worsening sense of orientation is one of the first signs of the disease. The researchers published the results in the journal Current Biology on 11 October 2018.

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