A previously missing link that could help explain how our minds combine experiences from many different senses into one memory may have finally been found by scientists.
Dietmar Plenz and Tara Thiagarajan at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland observed that groups of brain cells of two awake macaque monkeys appear to have their own version of quantum entanglement, or "spooky action at a distance" that could explain memories.
The researchers saw that patterns of activity, dubbed "coherence potentials", were mimicked or "cloned" and were more complicated than the simple phase-locked oscillations.
"The precision with which these new sites pick up on the activity of the initiating group is quite astounding - they are perfect clones," New Scientist quoted Plenz as saying.
Plenz also likened the appearance of cloned signals after one region had reached a threshold level of activity to the "tipping point", suggesting a coherence potential maybe triggered in the various parts of the brain that store aspects of the same experience.
Karl Friston, University College London, dubbed the discovery "a missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle" in terms of brain message transmission.