Research Group Hanganu-Opatz
The rhythm and melody of a piece of music can only be successfully interpreted by an orchestra if the timed coordination of each note and the sounds of the instruments are synchronized. The brain can also be looked upon as an orchestra, whereby the various areas of the brain are the instruments and the nerve cells represent the timed coordination of the notes. As in an orchestra, the activity of these components must be coordinated in order to create a meaningful "melody". Network oscillations have become the focus of interest as an energy efficient strategy for the organisation and communication between and within the areas of the brain. In humans and animals, oscillatory activity of the brain already develops in the very early phases of life and is already present in the uterus. While it has, in the meantime, become known that these oscillations actively contribute to sensory awareness and to cognitive processing, their role in development is largely unknown.