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Memories: It's all in the packaging, scientists say

remember the color of the word, a particular area of the brain associated with color processing was especially active during learning. If the subject later remembered the location of the word, activity was seen in an area associated with spatial processing. But if the subject remembered the word, the color and the location, then another critical brain region became involved. The researchers observed enhanced activity in the intra-parietal sulcus, a part of the parietal cortex. It appears that this region is responsible for binding together all the features of a particular memory so that contextual details, as well as more central aspects of the event such as the identity of the word, can later be recalled.

"We know that if the intra-parietal sulcus is damaged, then someone cannot attend to multiple aspects of the same object, such as its size and color," said Melina Uncapher, a graduate student researcher and lead author of the study. "This study provides empirical evidence for how critical this region is for bringing the constituents of a memory together in the brain.

"Memory is more than a sum of its parts. A complete memory of an event requires that the features of the event be brought together and processed by the brain as a common perceptual representation, before being stored."
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Source:University of California - Irvine


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