Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Activation of long-term memory by alpha oscillations in a working-memory task?

Wolfgang Klimesch a1 and Bärbel Schack a2
a1 Department of Physiological Psychology, Institute of Psychology, University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
a2 Institute of Medical Statistics, Computer Sciences, and Documentation, Medical Faculty of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, 07740 Jena, Germany


We focus on the functional specificity of theta and alpha oscillations and show that theta is related to working memory, whereas alpha is related to semantic long-term memory. Recent studies, however, indicate that alpha oscillations also play an important role during short-term memory retention and retrieval. This latter finding provides support for the basic hypothesis suggested by Ruchkin et al.