Cracking Memory Codes.

NH Health Watch: Cracking Memory Codes.


Cracking Memory Codes
Studies uncover clues as to how the brain remembers.

In a pair of studies, scientists at the National Institutes of Health explored how the human brain stores and retrieves memories. One study suggests that the brain etches each memory into unique firing patterns of individual neurons. Meanwhile, the second study suggests that the brain replays memories faster than they are stored.

The studies were led by Kareem Zaghloul, M.D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon-researcher at the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Persons with drug resistant epilepsy in Studies of epilepsy patients uncover clues to how the brain remembers.protocols studying surgical resection of their seizure focus at the NIH's Clinical Center enrolled in this study. To help locate the source of the seizures, Dr. Zaghloul's team surgically implanted a grid of electrodes into the patients' brains and monitored electrical activity for several days.

"The primary goal of these recordings is to understand how to stop the seizures. However, it's also a powerful opportunity to learn how the brain works," said Dr. Zaghloul.

For both studies, the researchers monitored brain electrical activity while testing the patients' memories. The patients were shown hundreds of pairs of words, like "pencil and bishop" or "orange and navy," and later were shown one of the words and asked to remember its pair.

In one study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the patients correctly remembered 38 percent of the word pairs they were shown. Electrical recordings showed that the brain waves the patients experienced when they correctly stored and remembered a word pair often occurred in the temporal lobe and prefrontal cortex regions. Nevertheless, the researchers showed that the waves that appeared when recalling the words happened faster than the waves that were present when they initially stored them as memories.

"Our results suggest the brain replays memories on fast forward," said Dr. Zaghloul.

In the second study, published in Current Biology, the researchers used a new type of grid, called a high density microelectrode array, to monitor the activity of dozens of individual neurons during the memory tests. The arrays were implanted into the middle temporal gyrus, a part of the brain thought to control word, face and distance recognition.

In this study, the patients correctly remembered 23 percent of the word pairs. When the researchers looked at the electrical recordings, they found that the pattern of neurons that fired when the patients correctly recalled a word pair appeared to be similar to the pattern of neurons that fired when they first learned the pair. Moreover, the results showed that the overall activity of the neurons was specific to each individual word pair and was quietest when the patients correctly remembered a pair, suggesting that the brain only uses a small proportion of neurons to represent each memory.

"These results support the idea that each memory is encoded by a unique firing pattern of individual neurons in the brain," concluded Dr. Zaghloul.

In the future, Dr. Zaghloul's team plans to continue exploring the neural mechanisms that underlie how the brain forms and retrieves memories and whether they can use similar techniques to understand the electrical codes underlying the epilepsies.


Posted 6/02/17

 

Scheduled Events

  FrancoFest   (11/4)
  Miss Berlin-Gorham Competition   (11/4)
  Over There   (11/11)
  Osprey Tracking Lecture   (11/20)
  Journey to the North Pole   (Mixed Dates)
  Santa Express Trains   (Mixed Dates)
  Traditionally Yours   (11/24-30)
  Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour   (11/25-12/17)
  Santa's First Visit   (11/25)
  Xmas Tree Lighting Ceremony  (11/26)
  Homestead Christmas   (12/2)
  Nutcracker Ballet   (12/2)
  Holiday Concert & Cookie Swap   (12/3)

 ◄ Expanded Calendar ►



Photo Galleries

 

Miss Berlin-Gorham Competition 2012 New England Brewfest 2014 RiverFire, Berlin, NH 2012 Sugar Hill Lupine Festival Gallery 2012 Bristol-Gorham Foliage
Quick Links

 





Business Directory

 

 

                      more ►  

 

 

Attractions

 

  Clark's Trading Post
  Cog Railway
  Competition Complex
  Conway Scenic Railroad
  Flume
  Jericho Mountain ATV Park
  Kancamagus Highway
  Littleton Riverwalk
  Lost River Gorge
  Mt. Washington Auto Road
  Polar Caves
  Santa's Village
  Six Gun City
  Storyland
  Vertical Ventures
  Whale's Tail Water Park
  Woodstock Inn & Brewery

 

more ►  

 

Community Profiles

 

  Bethlehem
  Bretton Woods
  Colebrook
  Conway
  Franconia
  Gorham
  Hanover
  Jackson
  Lebanon
  Lincoln
  Littleton
  North Conway
  Pittsburg
  Plymouth
  Twin Mountain
  Whitefield
  Wolfeboro

more ►  

 

Recreation and Tourism

 

  Farm To Table Restaurants
  Hiking To Crash Sites
  Little Ski Areas
  Local Movie Theaters
  Local Performance Theaters

 

more ►  

 

Other Resources

  NH Cabins & Cottages
  NH Census Info
  NH Data (OEP)
  NH Fishing Reports
  NH Foliage Report
  NH Hiking Trail Conditions
  NH Lottery
  NH Movie Guide
  NH Road Conditions
  NH Ski Reports
  NH Snowmobile Trail Reports
  NH State Parks
  NH Town Officials Directory
  NH Weather
  White Mtn. National Forest
  VisitNH.Gov

 

 

 

Copyright 2012-2017 by George C. Jobel, 603-491-4340. All Rights Reserved.