Gateway to human memory in brain identified
An international team has successfully determined with a level of precision never achieved before the location in the brain where memories are generated.
London: An international team has successfully determined with a level of precision never achieved before the location in the brain where memories are generated.
The team was able to pinpoint this location down to specific circuits of the human brain.
The results and method of the study is likely to assist in acquiring a better understanding of the effects Alzheimer's disease has on the brain.
"We have been able to locate the generation of human memories to certain neuronal layers within the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex. We were able to determine which neuronal layer was active," explained Emrah Duzel, director, Institute of Cognitive Neurology and Dementia Research at University of Magdeburg, Germany.
For their study, the scientists used a particularly accurate type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.
They examined the brains of persons who had volunteered to participate in a memory test.
"Previously used MRI techniques were not precise enough to capture this directional information. Hence, this is the first time we have been able to show where in the brain the doorway to memory is located," noted Duzel.
They used a special type of magnetic resonance imaging technology called "7 Tesla ultra-high field MRI."
This enabled them to determine the activity of individual brain regions with unprecedented accuracy.
"This measuring technique allows us to track the flow of information inside the brain and examine the areas that are involved in the processing of memories in great detail," stressed Duzel.
The study appeared in the journal Nature Communications.