A central question has been whether the hippocampus receives an "episodic packet," or a collection of perceptual strands that it must integrate into a memory.
In an article in the November 9, 2006, issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press, Melina Uncapher and colleagues report experiments with human volunteers that shed important light on this process.
In their experiments, the researchers presented the subjects with series of "study" words on a display screen, as their brains were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This technique involves using harmless radio waves and magnetic fields to measure blood flow to brain regions, which reflects brain activity. As their brains were scanned, the subjects were shown words of different colors and that were located in different quadrants of the display screen.
Later, the subjects were presented a collection of words including both the study words and new words. They were asked to recall whether the words were old or new, and for the old words, their color and location.
The researchers then correlated fMRI data on the brain regions active during the study phase with the data on the subjects' later retrieval of the features of these study words. They found that, indeed, regions of the brain involved in processing color and location were active during formation of memories for those features.
However, importantly, they found that the subjects' successful retrieval of both features--versus only color or location--was uniquely associated with enhanced activity in yet another brain region called the intraparietal sulcus, which has been strongly implicated in other studies as important in "perceptual binding" of multiple features of stimuli.
Thus, the researchers concluded that "The findings suggest that the encoding of disparate features of an episode into a common memory representation requires that the features be conjoined in a common perceptual representation when the episode is initially experienced."
Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change
18.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie
Lipid nanodiscs stabilize misfolding protein intermediates red-handed
18.12.2017 | Technische Universität München
A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.
In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...
Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
18.12.2017 | Information Technology
18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science