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Inhibitory mechanisms for learning and brain plasticity.

research inhibitorymechs resizedUsing functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) allows us to identify brain circutis that mediate our ability to improve in perceptual tasks during training. However, fMRI alone does not allow us to discern excitatory vs. inhibitory contributions to brain plasticity. Inhibition in the brain is driven by neurotransmitters, such as the γ-amino butyric acid or GABA and it is thought to be expressed by oscillatory activity in the alpha frequency range. Here, we combine the high spatial resolution of fMRI with the high temporal resolution of electroencephalography (EEG) and GABA measurements using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to understand the inhibitory mechanisms that mediate learning in the human brain.

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