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Science Messing Around With Memories

Science Messing Around With Memories

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The human brain is a favorite topic of research studies, and a recent discovery has revealed an interesting side of our memory ability, and the brain’s power to unlock it.

An investigation into how memories form has led scientists to figure out a way to alter the brain in order to provoke recollected thoughts.

Looking into how memories are developed, neurobiologists say that they were actually able to form new ones. They found that they can generate specific memories by changing brain cells in the cerebral cortex, which is an area of the brain that assists in creating the anticipated memory. They were able to uncover the information by playing a certain tone to rodents. Then an area of the brain, the nucleus basalis, was stimulated after hearing the sound in order to release the chemical that helps to make memories, acetylcholine.

Doing this resulted in an amplified amount of brain cells that reacted to the tone. The next day researchers played various sounds to the rodents and discovered that their breathing rate went up when they heard the specific tone from the previous day, demonstrating that detailed memory content can be made when brain changes occur.

According to the research team this is proof that memories can be produced by directly altering this area of the cortical region.

Sounds a little like weird science, but understanding how the brain arranges and develops memories and further how to produce new ones could potentially lead to useful applications. The principal investigators on the study stated that they intend to look into pertinent areas with the new information, like discovering more about memory and learning disorders.

The study was published in the September 4th issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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