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 [email protected]
a2 Institute of Medical Statistics, Computer Sciences, and Documentation, Medical Faculty of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, 07740 Jena, Germany [email protected]


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.