Washington: Scientists have had trouble solving one of the biggest mysteries in the biological research: where and how memories are encoded in a nervous system.The hippocampus has long been considered a centre in the brain for the long-term storage of spatial associations.Mazahir T. Hasan at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research and Jose Maria Delgado-Garcia at the University Pablo de Olavide of Seville, Spain, have been able to provide first experimental evidence that a specific form of memory associations is encoded in the cerebral cortex and is not localized in the hippocampus as described in most Neuroscience textbooks.The new study is a game changer since it strongly suggests that the motor cortical circuits itself, and not the hippocampus, is used as memory storage.The new study shows, in the motor cortex this so-called synaptic plasticity no longer functions without the NMDA receptors.The scientists were thus able to rule out the hippocampus or other regions as the cause for their observations. Based on the new findings, it is the cerebral cortex, not the hippocampus that is the storage site for some forms of memory.
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