For decades, scientists have disagreed about the way the brain gathers memories, developing two apparently contradictory concepts. But newly published research by a team of scientists at Rutgers-Newarks Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN) indicates that both models of memory may be partially correct – and that resolving this conflict could lead to new approaches for the treatment of memory disorders such as Alzheimers Disease.
The dispute has centered on how the hippocampus – a structure deep inside the brain – processes new information from the senses and stores it. Some researchers – such as Mark Gluck and Catherine Myers, co-directors of the Memory Disorders Project at the CMBN – have been proponents of "incremental memory," viewing the acquisition of memory as a learning process that occurs over time.
"If you see thunder and lightning occur together once, that may be seen as a coincidence," Myers observed. "But the more often you see them happen at the same time, the more likely you are to remember them as related parts of one event."
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