Memory Overview

In psychology, memory is the process in which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved.

Encoding or registration: receiving, processing and combining of received information
Storage: creation of a permanent record of the encoded information in short term or long term memory
Retrieval, recall or recollection: calling back the stored information in response to some cue for use in a process or activity
The loss of memory is described as forgetfulness.

Neural representation of visual memory

Principal Investigator: Aude Oliva - MIT
Title: Algorithmically explicit neural representation of visual memorability
BRAIN Category: Neuroengineering and brain-inspired concepts and design (#1532591)

We propose to combine three technologies to predict what makes an image memorable or forgettable: neuro-imaging technologies recording where encoding happens in the human brain (spatial scale), when it happens (temporal scale), and what types of computation are performed at the different stages of storage (computational scale.

Support Cells in the Brain Offer a New Strategy to Boost Memory

A new memory regulator in the brain involving adenosine receptors has been uncovered by researchers, which may offer a potential treatment to improve memory in Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings suggest that astrocytes–star-shaped cells that are abundant in the brain and support neuronal function–are important regulators of information storage, and their dysfunction might lead to memory decline in disease.

Nature Neuroscience 1/26/15

Resveratrol May Help Prevent Memory Loss

A compound found in red grapes, peanuts, and some berries may help prevent age-related decline in memory.

In a study published online Jan. 28 in Scientific Reports, Ashkok Shetty and his researchers atTexas A&M College of Medicine reported that treatment with resveratrol had apparent benefits in terms of learning, memory and mood function in aged rats.

Neural Encoding for Learning

Postmortem brain slices can be “read” to determine how a mouse was trained to behave in response to specific sounds.

Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) describe how postmortem brain slices can be “read” to determine how a rat was trained to behave in response to specific sounds. The work provides one of the first examples of how changes in the activity of individual neurons encode learning and memory in the brain. Nature 3/2/15

How Curiosity Changes the Brain to Enhance Learning

The more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to learn information about that topic.

New research publishing online October 2 in the Cell Press journal Neuron provides insights into what happens in our brains when curiosity is piqued. The findings could help scientists find ways to enhance overall learning and memory in both healthy individuals and those with neurological conditions.

Researchers reported increased activity in the hippocampus, as well as increased interactions between the hippocampus and reward circuit.

Genomewide Screen of Learning in Zebrafish

Genomewide screen of learning in Zebrafish identifies enzyme important in neural circuit and understanding molecular genetics of human neuropsychiatric disorders.

“At first we didn’t think it was important in learning, but we found that pappaa is expressed by startle-circuit neurons,” explains Granato, Penn professor of cell and development biology. The team verified the involvement of the IGF pathway by rescuing mutant behavior to normal by adding an activator of downstream molecules that interact with the IGF receptor. Neuron 3/18/15

Suppressing FXR1P increases long-term memory

Fragile X Related Protein 1 (FXR1P) is an RNA-binding protein that controls mRNA translation in nonneuronal cells and colocalizes with translational machinery in neurons.

The removal of FXR1P from the forebrain of postnatal mice selectively enhances long-term storage of spatial memories, hippocampal late-phase long-term potentiation

New learning mechanism for individual nerve cells

Learning is based on the strengthening or weakening of the contacts between the nerve cells in the brain — this has been the traditional understanding.

However, this has been challenged by new research findings. These indicate that there is also a third mechanism — a kind of clock function that gives individual nerve cells the ability to time their reactions.

Research into brain’s GPS earns three neuroscientists Nobel Prize

"The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded one half to John O´Keefe and the other half jointly to May‐Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain."

"This year's Nobel Laureates have discovered a positioning system, an 'inner GPS' in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves in space, demonstrating a cellular basis for higher cognitive function.”

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