Memory tests performed with amnesiacs have enabled researchers to refute a long-held belief in an essential difference between long-and short-term memories. In the study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania determined that the hippocampus -- a seahorse shaped structure in the middle of the brain -- was just as important for retrieving certain types of short-term memories as it is for long-term memories.
Their findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, overturn the established view of the hippocampus and offers insight on how the brain forms and recalls memories by piecing together related bits of experiences.
"For over 40 years, the chief paradigm has been that the hippocampus was important for creating long-term memory but not short-term or working memory," said Ingrid Olson, a member of Penns Department of Psychology and researcher at Penns Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. "However, our data show that one type of working memory, working memory for the relationship between bits of information, is dependent on the hippocampus.
Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
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