Thursday, June 16, 2022

Where Is Memory Located In The Brain

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Basal Ganglia And Motor Memory

Short term or working memory in the brain – Intro to Psychology

The basal ganglia are a group of nuclei which are located in the medial temporal lobe, above the thalamus and connected to the cerebral cortex. Specifically, the basal ganglia includes the subthalamic nucleus, substantia nigra, the globus pallidus, the ventral striatum and the dorsal striatum, which consists of the putamen and the caudate nucleus. The basic functions of these nuclei deal with cognition, learning, and motor control and activities. The basal ganglia are also associated with learning, memory, and unconscious memory processes, such as motor skills and implicit memory. Particularly, one division within the ventral striatum, the nucleus accumbens core, is involved in the consolidation, retrieval and reconsolidation of drug memory.

The caudate nucleus is thought to assist in learning and memory of associations taught during operant conditioning. Specifically, research has shown that this part of the basal ganglia plays a role in acquiring stimulus-response habits, as well as in solving sequence tasks.

Dna Methylation And Demethylation

Rats exposed to an intense learning event may retain a life-long memory of the event, even after a single training session. The long-term memory of such an event appears to be initially stored in the hippocampus, but this storage is transient. Much of the long-term storage of the memory seems to take place in the anterior cingulate cortex. When such an exposure was experimentally applied, more than 5,000 differently methylated DNA regions appeared in the hippocampusneuronalgenome of the rats at one and at 24 hours after training. These alterations in methylation pattern occurred at many genes that were down-regulated, often due to the formation of new 5-methylcytosine sites in CpG rich regions of the genome. Furthermore, many other genes were upregulated, likely often due to hypomethylation. Hypomethylation often results from the removal of methyl groups from previously existing 5-methylcytosines in DNA. Demethylation is carried out by several proteins acting in concert, including the TET enzymes as well as enzymes of the DNA base excision repair pathway . The pattern of induced and repressed genes in brain neurons subsequent to an intense learning event likely provides the molecular basis for a long-term memory of the event.

How Do Memories Work

Most people refer to memory as something that they possess. However, the expression I lost my memory is technically incorrect. Memory doesnt exist in the same way that a part of your body exists. Its not physically present rather, it is a concept that refers to the process of remembering.

At the most basic level, memories are stored as microscopic chemical changes at the connecting points between neurons in the brain.

Three types of neurons are responsible for all information transfer in the nervous system.

  • Sensory Neurons: these detect the stimulus from each of the senses and communicate the information to the interconnecting neurons.
  • Interconnecting Neurons: these transfer information throughout the nervous system and also connect to the motor neurons.
  • Motor Neurons: these connect to the muscle tissue and activate them.
  • Structure of a neuron

    There are certain steps involved when a memory is processed.

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    What Does This Study Really Mean

    Of course, more research is necessary to find out which other areas of the brain are involved in motor adaptation and motor learning. Most complex skills are dependent on many different brain areas that may have different functions in a task. However, these areas must all talk to each other in order to produce accurate motor performance.

    How Does The Brain Work

    Memory &  The Brain

    The brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, and your brain interprets each. Some make you feel tired, for example, while others make you feel pain.

    Some messages are kept within the brain, while others are relayed through the spine and across the bodys vast network of nerves to distant extremities. To do this, the central nervous system relies on billions of neurons .

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    History Of The Hippocampus

    The term hippocampus is derived from the Greek word hippokampus because the structure resembles the shape of a sea horse. The structure was first described by the anatomist Julius Caesar Aranzi. Because the hippocampus has been known of and observed for centuries, it is one of the most studied areas of the brain.

    Knowing And Harnessing Brain Powers:

    Did you know the power of the brain is greater than anything you might have previously imagined? Sir Charles Sherrington, a Noble Prize laureate in neurophysiology, in 1941 called the brain an enchanted loom where a meaningful pattern is weaved by millions of flashing shuttles.

    While trying to calculate the number of possible thought patterns in an average human brain, Professor Pyotr Anokhin of Moscow State University reached the conclusion that the number of connections is virtually infinite.

    Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of all times, once said, If we did all the things we are capable of doing, wed literally astound ourselves.

    You might have heard that brain loses its efficiency as you age, but Breznitz et al in their book Maximum Brainpower: Challenging the Brain for Health and Wisdom claim just the opposite of it. According to them, you can keep your brain sharp and cognitively fit by maximizing the brain power, especially as you age. And the fit brain is the most important factor to ensure a long, healthy and active life.

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    How Did We Test Motor Adaptation

    To test motor adaptation, we asked everyone to sit in front of the machine shown in Figure 2. Imagine you are one of our participants. The goal is to learn to move the cursor from a start position to a target. You have to learn to do this because the cursor moves in a different direction than your hand. You have sensors on your arm that measure the direction your arm and hand move. Your arm is under the mirror so you cannot see it. All you see displayed on the mirror are circles for the start, the target, and the cursor. The cursor is a small circle with an x in the middle, which gives you visual feedback about your hand position as you move from start to target. First, in the baseline condition, we give you correct visual feedback, meaning that we show your arm the way it actually moves. Second, in the adaptation condition, we give you visual feedback of your arm that is wrong. So, even when your arm is moving up and down, the visual feedback shows your arm moving to the left. You would adapt by gradually moving your arm to the right in order to make the visual feedback go vertical. With practice you learn to adjust the direction of your movement to accurately hit the target, despite the bad feedback.

    Look at this movie a couple of times to get a better idea of how adaptation occurs during the beginning, middle and end of the adaptation condition.

    Functions Of The Hippocampus

    Mapping Memory in the Brain

    The two most-influential theories for hippocampal function are related to space and memory. The spatial hypothesis was supported by the seminal discovery in 1971 of cells in the hippocampus that fired bursts of action potentials when a rattraversed specific locations in space, or place fields. That suggested that the hippocampus was a sort of device used by the brain for mapping layouts of the environment. Data supporting that idea came from later virtual navigation studies in humans, which suggested a strong association between the hippocampus and spatial navigation. The memory hypothesis originated in 1957 and was supported by studies and observations in which hippocampal removal resulted in a loss of the ability to form new memories, particularly fact- and event-related memories.

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    Procedural Vs Declarative Memory

    Procedural memory refers to our knowledge of skills and how to perform tasks, and is something we mostly remember automatically. We generally dont need to consciously think about how to ride a bike or play an instrument: we simply go through the motions once weve learned how to do it.

    Multiple parts of the brain are involved in the formation of procedural memories. Once a skill has been learned, a key part of the brain called the basal ganglia is responsible for processing and coordinating the muscle movements and habitual actions required to achieve a goal.

    Imagine theres a ball zooming towards your head: do you raise your hands to catch it, or do you run away from it to avoid being hit? Quickly deciding which action to take is a decision for the basal ganglia. The cerebellum, located towards the back of the brain, is also responsible for coordinating those movements.

    are facts or memories of past events that can be declared rather than performed. Examples might include an important life event, who came to dinner last night, or the date of your mothers birthday, as well as information about the world. Declarative memories can be further broken down into other sub-types of memories:

    Learning Recalling And Thinking

    The brain regulates an array of functions necessary to survival: the action of our five senses, the continuous monitoring of the spatial surround, contraction and relaxation of the digestive muscles, the rhythms of breathing and a regular heartbeat. As the vital functions maintain their steady course without our conscious exertion, we are accustomed to consider the brain as preeminently the organ of thought. The brain houses our mind and our memories, and we rely on its information-processing capacities when we set out to learn something new.

    But where in the brain can we locate memory or thought itself? offered some clues about the ways scientific investigationfrom the molecular level to studies of the alert, behaving animalhas begun to define in physical terms an abstract quality such as “attention.” Similar techniques and approaches are being applied to other mental functions, too, even those as seemingly intangible as learning, remembering, or thinking about the outside world.

    Learning and memory, which for many years were considered central problems in psychology, the social sciences, and philosophy, have recently assumed greater importance in the area of neurobiology, itself a confluence of several lines of investigation.

    Most available evidence suggests that the functions of memory are carried out by the hippocampus and other related structures in the temporal lobe.

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    What Is The Gray Matter And White Matter

    Gray and white matter are two different regions of the central nervous system. In the brain, gray matter refers to the darker, outer portion, while white matter describes the lighter, inner section underneath. In the spinal cord, this order is reversed: The white matter is on the outside, and the gray matter sits within.

    Gray matter is primarily composed of neuron somas , and white matter is mostly made of axons wrapped in myelin . The different composition of neuron parts is why the two appear as separate shades on certain scans.

    Each region serves a different role. Gray matter is primarily responsible for processing and interpreting information, while white matter transmits that information to other parts of the nervous system.

    Where Are Memories Stored In The Brain

    Brain circuit allows the feeding and memory centers to ...
  • Learning & Memory
  • Memories arent stored in just one part of the brain. Different types are stored across different, interconnected brain regions. For explicit memories which are about events that happened to you , as well as general facts and information there are three important areas of the brain: the hippocampus, the neocortex and the amygdala. Implicit memories, such as motor memories, rely on the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Short-term working memory relies most heavily on the prefrontal cortex.

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    Where Does The Brain Store Long Term Memory

    Long-term memory or LTM is that warehouse where we keep all that significant information from the past. These data, about past experiences, somehow guide our behavior. Through experience we know what consequences each behavior has and what we should do according to the context in which we are.

    For this reason, long-term memory plays a very important evolutionary role.

    In this post we are going to answer the question Where does the brain store long term memory? We will identify the area of the brain where memories that remain in our memory for years are stored and how these memories are formed.

    Blood Supply To The Brain

    Two sets of blood vessels supply blood and oxygen to the brain: the vertebral arteries and the carotid arteries.

    The external carotid arteries extend up the sides of your neck, and are where you can feel your pulse when you touch the area with your fingertips. The internal carotid arteries branch into the skull and circulate blood to the front part of the brain.

    The vertebral arteries follow the spinal column into the skull, where they join together at the brainstem and form the basilar artery, which supplies blood to the rear portions of the brain.

    The circle of Willis, a loop of blood vessels near the bottom of the brain that connects major arteries, circulates blood from the front of the brain to the back and helps the arterial systems communicate with one another.

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    Memory Storage In Brain

    Generally, we might see a similarity in storage devices or a hard drive and brain, but they are hardly alike. Unlike storage devices, memory in mind is not stored at a specific location. And brain structure is not like a hard drive. It is much more complex, and memories are stored all over it. This is evident from the brain scan. Suppose we are looking at the brain activity of a person recalling a past event. The image will show several neurons firing up located in several different parts of the brain. Let us see how it is stored.

    Hippocampus that is involved in making memory comes in and takes the aggregate of several short-termed memories. Suppose the memory for the graduation party can include the food you taste, what you feel like, and what the house smells like. In short, there are several small chunks of memory involved. Hippocampus takes the whole piece and assigns them specific places in the brain center, like the smell, will go to the olfactory region, and sounds go to the auditory area. The neurons on which these are written make connections with each other. This develops a big large memory circuit. The way these connections are made forms the indexing or the flow of how you remember a particular thing.

    Memories Are Triggered By Senses

    The Anatomy of Memory – On Our Mind

    We now know that the memory comprises of several chunks of information. The more the sense and emotions involved, the easier it will be to access the memory. In the film Ratatouille, when Remy feeds Ratatouille to Anton, the critic gets a flashback of his mother. It shows Anton as a child, eating the same dish that was made by her mother.

    This is a clear depiction of how memory works. The taste of a sensory trigger brought the memory of Anton’s mother. Thus, consciousness is based on several such connections. Similarly, a smell of perfume or a song can also take you to a trip down the memory lane because sensory stimuli are involved in accessing a certain memory.

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    Where Are Memories Stored In The Brain They May Be In The Connections Between Your Brain Cells

    Physically removing bad or unwanted memories by altering synapses in the brain may one day be possible.

    All memory storage devices, from your brain to the RAM in your computer, store information by changing their physical qualities. Over 130 years ago, pioneering neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal first suggested that the brain stores information by rearranging the connections, or synapses, between neurons.

    Since then, neuroscientists have attempted to understand the physical changes associated with memory formation. But visualizing and mapping synapses is challenging to do. For one, synapses are very small and tightly packed together. Theyre roughly 10 billion times smaller than the smallest object a standard clinical MRI can visualize. Furthermore, there are approximately 1 billion synapses in the mouse brains researchers often use to study brain function, and theyre all the same opaque to translucent color as the tissue surrounding them.

    Synapses comprise the very end of the transmitting neuron, the very beginning of the receiving neuron, and the tiny gap between them.

    A new imaging technique my colleagues and I developed, however, has allowed us to map synapses during memory formation. We found that the process of forming new memories changes how brain cells are connected to one another. While some areas of the brain create more connections, others lose them.

    Mapping new memories in fish

    Could removing synapses remove memories?

    Storeroom As An Analogy

    We can understand how the human brain stores information by using a simple analogy. Our brain is like a storeroom when we consider memory storage. Like in a store you want to keep the important things on the shelf because in that way they will become easily accessible. Similarly, our brain keeps important things on the surface levels of memory storage. You pay attention to the things that you like, that is why subjects of your interest are easier for you to remember as compared to the things which you do not like.

    That is why some people believe that it helps to organize your mind by yourself, by trying to remember only the things which are important and matter to you. In this way, the desired information will always be available on the shelf, just like the sugar you want for your tea.

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