You wouldn’t believe it. Ask anyone here. Everyone remembers it.

2343.jpg

Scientists have now found the engram, the physical trace of memory in the brain. […]

Decades of scientific dogma asserted that engrams exist only in vast webs of connections, not in a particular place but in distributed neural networks running widely through the brain. Yet a series of pioneering studies have demonstrated that it is possible to lure specific memories into particular neurons, at least in mice. If those neurons are killed or temporarily inactivated, the memories vanish. If the neurons are reactivated, the memories return. These same studies have also begun to explain how and why the brain allocates each memory to a particular group of cells and how it links them together and organizes them—the physical means by which the scent of a madeleine, the legendary confection that sparked Marcel Proust’s memory stream, leads to remembrance of things past. […]

“We have now gotten to the point that we know enough about memory and how memories are formed that we can actually find the engram, and by finding it, we can manipulate it,” says neurobiologist Alcino Silva.

{ Discover | Continue reading }

image { Stefano Colombini }