24 April 2008

You Must Remember This: Unless You Forget

We navigate our way through the world around us by memory. Imagine having to consult a map each morning on the way to work or school! How do we remember these things, and what goes wrong when we start to forget?
Dr Sarah Griffiths, lead author on the paper, explained: "Nerve cells in the perirhinal cortex of the brain are known to be vital for visual recognition memory. Using a combination of biological techniques and behavioural testing, we examined whether the mechanisms involved in synaptic plasticity are also vital for visual recognition memory."

In their experiments, they were able to identify a key molecular mechanism that controls synaptic plasticity in the perirhinal cortex. They then demonstrated that blocking the same molecular mechanism that controls synaptic plasticity also prevented visual recognition memory in rats. This shows that such memory relies on specific molecular processes in the brain.

Professor Bashir added: "The next step is to try to understand the processes that enable visual memories to be held in our brains for such long periods of time, and why these mechanisms begin to break down in old age."

The research is published online April 23 in Neuron. ScienceDaily_via_KurzweilAI.net
In that utopian future that we all envision, the things that we want to remember are remembered, and the things we wish to forget are forgotten. Too often in the real world, just the opposite is the case.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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