HOW DOES THE HUMAN BRAIN REPLAY MEMORIES FROM THE PAST

A new study by Michelmann et al. (Hanslmayr lab) published in PLoS Biology reveals the neural mechanisms that enable our brains to replay videos and sounds experienced in the past. In their study, Michelmann et al let subjects encode short video and sound clips and asked them to mentally replay these later. Using temporal pattern similarity analysis the authors show that the phase at 8 Hz carries a temporal signature of the replayed stimulus. This replay is linked to a decrease in power (i.e. desynchronization) in the same frequency range. This study is the first to reveal a domain general neural mechanism which underlies the replay of dynamic memories.