Cradle of memories in brain discovered

A team of researchers has determined the location, where memories are generated with a level of precision never achieved before.

ANI| Last Updated: Nov 27, 2014, 16:01 PM IST

London: A team of researchers has determined the location, where memories are generated with a level of precision never achieved before.

Researchers of the University of Magdeburg and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) were able to pinpoint this location down to specific circuits of the human brain by using a particularly accurate type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.

The researchers hope that the results and method of their study might be able to assist in acquiring a better understanding of the effects Alzheimer's disease has on the brain.

For the recall of experiences and facts, various parts of the brain have to work together and much of this interdependence is still undetermined, however, it is known that memories are stored primarily in the cerebral cortex and that the control center that generates memory content and also retrieves it, is located in the brain's interior that happens in the hippocampus and in the adjacent entorhinal cortex.

Emrah Duzel, site speaker of the DZNE, said that they have been able to locate the generation of human memories to certain neuronal layers within the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex and they were able to determine which neuronal layer was active.

Duzel continued that this revealed if information was directed into the hippocampus or whether it traveled from the hippocampus into the cerebral cortex.

He added that previously used MRI techniques were not precise enough to capture this directional information, hence, this is the first time they have been able to show where in the brain the doorway to memory is located.

The study is published in the science journal Nature Communications.