Monday, May 9, 2011

Memories Observed Been Formed

It appears we are finally able to say something intelligent about the whole process of memory.  We can now observe that process apparently in action.  It is noteworthy that memories to be saved are in fact selected and then transported to the cortex.  One presumes that short term memories are in fact over written.

Seen this way we can discount claims of perfect memories and replace that with a more efficient memory that leaves the illusion of a perfect memory.  It all needs to be thought about.

This may also be an artifact of our own assumptions regarding memory processing.  It sounds a little too like a computer to me.  I suggest we put interpretations on hold until we gather much more information now we seem able to do so.

Study: Memories change brain structure

by Staff Writers

Rome (UPI) May 2, 2011 

European researchers say they've recorded changes in the brain as it learns and sorts what it has learned in a "clearing house" of memories.

By analyzing the brains of mice at various stages of learning, Italian, Swiss and German scientists observed the brain modifying its structure and organization, making new connections while canceling some others out, Italian news agency ANSA reported Monday.

"When we have to memorize something, in a structure called the hippocampus or the cerebellum," Piergiorgio Strata, head of Italy's National Neuroscience Institute, said, "the things to be remembered are selected.

"Some of them are sent to permanent storage areas located in various parts of the brain's cortex, while others are organized differently, with inhibitory synapses coming into play."

Since some memories, such as fears, can leave a very intense permanent trace, the research could pave the way for discovering the molecular foundations of phobias and anxieties, the researchers said.

The research, published in the journal Nature, shows that "short-term memory can become long-term via a process called consolidation, which is completed over several days," Strata said.

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