About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Scientists Find What Helps Precision in Memories

by Tanya Thomas on May 7, 2011 at 7:29 AM
Font : A-A+

 Scientists Find What Helps Precision in Memories

A group of scientists has revealed structural "traces" in the brain that help to keep memories precise.

Neuroscientist Pico Caroni at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland, led the group. The team worked with mice that went through a fear-conditioning procedure in which their paws received electric shocks in a particular room.

Advertisement

They then looked at changes in the synaptic structures, the structures involved in signal transmission from neuron to neuron, in the hippocampus of the brain.

It was found that after a couple of days, when the mice entered that room, they froze in fear, and in a different but similar room, they sniffed about as normal.
Advertisement

But after about two weeks the mice froze in both rooms. The memory had been "generalized", producing a functional response to a wide range of cues instead of the specific one that had been learned.

"The memory is still there, it might be there forever. But it changes," Nature quoted Caroni as saying.

When the team followed the structural changes in the hippocampus during the conditioning process, they found a large increase in the numbers of synaptic structures at the terminals of neurons called granule cells, which have axons called large mossy fibres after the memories were formed.

By the time the memory had been generalized, these synaptic structures had disappeared.

To confirm that the formation of the synaptic structures was involved in memory precision, Caroni's group put mice that lacked a protein necessary to form the synaptic connections through the same shock treatments.

In these mice, the memory became generalized after only one day. But when researchers introduced that protein into the mossy-fibre neurons in the hippocampus, even if into only 20 percent of the cells, the mice recovered the ability to maintain precise memories for weeks.

Caroni says that the phenomenon could improve the understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in which traumatic memories are evoked by environments very different from those in which they originated.

The findings have been published in Nature1.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Top 9 Reasons Why We Should Practice Kindness
Top 10 Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians - Slideshow
Targeted Screening Program Beneficial for Prostate Cancer Screening
View all
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Most Popular on Medindia

Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Drug Interaction Checker Indian Medical Journals Blood Donation - Recipients Blood Pressure Calculator A-Z Drug Brands in India Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Daily Calorie Requirements The Essence of Yoga

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use