Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-9-2021


Memory consolidation occurs during slow-wave sleep. This is a complex process that can be studied using electroencephalography (EEG) and modulated with brain stimulation. Previous studies have shown that transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) can be used to entrain or disrupt endogenous oscillations in cortical networks and can be used for the manipulation of consolidation processes during sleep. In this series of experiments, sleep-dependent memory consolidation was modulated using closed-loop tACS (CL-tACS to improve memory performance for three tasks: a verbal paired associates task (PAT), an interference paired associates task (iPAT), and a visual category learning task. EEG was collected during testing to investigate the neural response to stimulation. Results suggest that CL-tACS improved memory performance and reduced retroactive interference. The behavioral effects were also associated with features (event-related spectral perturbation; ERSP) in waking EEG. These results provide further evidence for a relationship between slow-wave oscillations and memory consolidation.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Vincent P. Clark

Second Committee Member

Dr. James F. Cavanagh

Third Committee Member

Dr. Robert Thoma

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Davin Quinn




Sleep, tACS, Memory Consolidation, Sleep-Dependent Memory Consolidation, Brain Stimulation, Learning

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Included in

Psychology Commons