Alpha-band oscillations are the dominant oscillations in the human brain and recent evidence suggests that they have an inhibitory function. Nonetheless, there is little doubt that alpha-band oscillations also play an active role in information processing. In this article, I suggest that alpha-band oscillations have two roles (inhibition and timing) that are closely linked to two fundamental functions of attention (suppression and selection), which enable controlled knowledge access and semantic orientation (the ability to be consciously oriented in time, space, and context). As such, alpha-band oscillations reflect one of the most basic cognitive processes and can also be shown to play a key role in the coalescence of brain activity in different frequencies.
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