Learning and memory.
Brem A-K., Ran K., Pascual-Leone A.
Learning and memory functions are crucial in the interaction of an individual with the environment and involve the interplay of large, distributed brain networks. Recent advances in technologies to explore neurobiological correlates of neuropsychological paradigms have increased our knowledge about human learning and memory. In this chapter we first review and define memory and learning processes from a neuropsychological perspective. Then we provide some illustrations of how noninvasive brain stimulation can play a major role in the investigation of memory functions, as it can be used to identify cause-effect relationships and chronometric properties of neural processes underlying cognitive steps. In clinical medicine, transcranial magnetic stimulation may be used as a diagnostic tool to understand memory and learning deficits in various patient populations. Furthermore, noninvasive brain stimulation is also being applied to enhance cognitive functions, offering exciting translational therapeutic opportunities in neurology and psychiatry.