Navigation Links
Short-term memory is based on synchronized brain oscillations
Date:1/31/2012

This press release is available in German.

Holding information within one's memory for a short while is a seemingly simple and everyday task. We use our short-term memory when remembering a new telephone number if there is nothing to write at hand, or to find the beautiful dress inside the store that we were just admiring in the shopping window. Yet, despite the apparent simplicity of these actions, short-term memory is a complex cognitive act that entails the participation of multiple brain regions. However, whether and how different brain regions cooperate during memory has remained elusive. A group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tbingen, Germany have now come closer to answering this question. They discovered that oscillations between different brain regions are crucial in visually remembering things over a short period of time.

It has long been known that brain regions in the frontal part of the brain are involved in short-term memory, while processing of visual information occurs primarily at the back of the brain. However, to successfully remember visual information over a short period of time, these distant regions need to coordinate and integrate information.

To better understand how this occurs, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Biological Cybernetics in the department of Nikos Logothetis recorded electrical activity both in a visual area and in the frontal part of the brain in monkeys. The scientists showed the animals identical or different images within short intervals while recording their brain activity. The animals then had to indicate whether the second image was the same as the first one.

The scientists observed that, in each of the two brain regions, brain activity showed strong oscillations in a certain set of frequencies called the theta-band. Importantly, these oscillations did not occur independently of each other, but synchronized their activity temporarily: "It is as if you have two revolving doors in each of the two areas. During working memory, they get in sync, thereby allowing information to pass through them much more efficiently than if they were out of sync," explains Stefanie Liebe, the first author of the study, conducted in the team of Gregor Rainer in cooperation with Gregor Hrzer from the Technical University Graz. The more synchronized the activity was, the better could the animals remember the initial image. Thus, the authors were able to establish a direct relationship between what they observed in the brain and the performance of the animal.

The study highlights how synchronized brain oscillations are important for the communication and interaction of different brain regions. Almost all multi-faceted cognitive acts, such as visual recognition, arise from a complex interplay of specialized and distributed neural networks. How relationships between such distributed sites are established and how they contribute to represent and communicate information about external and internal events in order to attain a coherent percept or memory is still poorly understood.


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Stefanie Liebe
stefanie.liebe@tuebingen.mpg.de
44-207-837-5433
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Some short-term memories die suddenly, no fading
2. Short-term school closures may worsen flu pandemics, Pitt study finds
3. Fly guy makes memory breakthrough
4. SUNY Downstate researchers find that memory storage molecule preserves complex memories
5. Developer of advanced computing memory, father of biochemical engineering, and innovative engineering educators win highest engineering honors of 2009
6. DREAM: 1 gene regulates pain, learning and memory
7. Crabs memory of pain confirmed by Queens academic
8. Computer simulations explain the limitations of working memory
9. Caltech scientists reveal how neuronal activity is timed in brains memory-making circuits
10. UT San Antonio researcher wins $917,000 from NIH to study memory
11. Researchers see evidence of memory in the songbird brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Short-term memory is based on synchronized brain oscillations
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... LOS ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On ... Hack the Genome hackathon at ... This exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health ... experience. Hack the Genome is ... has been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... The new and improved ... The pocket testers even stand upright with a new cap design that is versatile, ... in the field who need to test water quality. , The Oakton pocket testers ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) , ... September 19, ... ... chemical testing laboratory, is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2017 Science ... academic achievement, exceptional leadership qualities, and involvement with community service defray the costs ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Band-LOK, ... applications, announced today that two new patents have been allowed by the USPTO ... of Band-LOK, said, “We continue to explore additional clinically-relevant designs for both the ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... 18, 2017   Montrium , a growing leader in ... partnership with a groundbreaking non-profit research organization, Multidisciplinary Association for ... ... for PTSD ... Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress ...
Breaking Biology Technology: