The role of theta oscillations in memory and decision making
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Oscillatory brain activity in the theta band (4-8 Hz) is known to play a role in memory and decision making tasks. These two types of tasks also rely partly on the same cognitive sub-processes, as both can involve retrieval of information from memory and the formation of a decision. Yet, it is not clear to what extent the theta activity that is found is the same for both types of tasks. In this review, we will discuss evidence for the role of theta activity in memory and decision making separately. Then, we will discuss similarities and differences between the activity found in these two types of tasks. We propose that the frontal theta activity that both tasks have in common may reflect the activity of a general (task-independent) cognitive control process, which uses synchronized theta activity to connect with other brain areas performing task-specific sub-processes.