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High Motor Excitability Proves A Better Working Memory In Human

Update Date: Dec 26, 2013 09:00 AM EST

Human who possess high motor excitability have better working memory than human with a low excitability for the same, a new study has shown.

The study conducted by scientists from Transfacultary Research Platform at the University of Basel showed that the working memory processing depended on the excitability of neurons in the prefrontal cortex. Working memory is the part that allows temporary storage of information such as memorizing a phone number for a very short period time.

In earlier researches, evidences have been found that motor neuronal excitability might be related to the neuronal excitability of other cortical regions. This research is more focused on the possibility that the excitability of the motor cortex correlated with working memory performance.

“The motor cortical excitability can be easily studied with transcranial magnetic stimulation,” said Nathalie Schicktanz, doctoral student and first author of the study in the press release.

The study involved 188 healthy and young people. Researchers used electromagnetic impulses with increasing intensity that were applied over the motor cortex. Those who had high motor excitability, even weak impulses were sufficient to trigger certain muscles like those of hands that showed a visible twitch.

“The findings help us to understand the importance of neuronal excitability for cognitive processes in humans,” added Dr. Kyrill Schwegler, co-author of the study in the press release.

The study is published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

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