Memories can be manipulated using light, suggests a new research.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, used light to erase specific memories in mice, and proved a basic theory of how different parts of the brain work together to retrieve episodic memories.
Researcher Brian Wiltgen said that neuroscientists have theorized that retrieving episodic memories that are memories about specific places and events involves coordinated activity between the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus, a small structure deep in the brain
Wiltgen added that the theory is that learning involves processing in the cortex, and the hippocampus reproduces this pattern of activity during retrieval, allowing you to re-experience the event.
Researchers first showed that they could label the cells involved in learning and demonstrate that they were reactivated during memory recall and then they were able to switch off the specific nerve cells in the hippocampus, and show that the mice lost their memories of the unpleasant event.
They were also able to show that turning off other cells in the hippocampus did not affect retrieval of that memory, and to follow fibers from the hippocampus to specific cells in the cortex.