Navigation Links
Getting a grasp on memory
Date:3/31/2011

When we suddenly get the answer to a riddle or understand the solution to a problem, we can practically feel the light bulb click on in our head. But what happens after the 'Aha!' moment? Why do the things we learn through sudden insight tend to stick in our memory?

'Much of memory research involves repetitive, rote learning,' says Kelly Ludmer, a research student in the group of Prof. Yadin Dudai of the Institute's Neurobiology Department, 'but in fact, we regularly absorb large blocks of information in the blink of an eye and remember things quite well from single events. Insight is an example of a one-time event that is often well-preserved in memory.'

To investigate how lessons we gain from insight get embedded in our long-term memory, Ludmer, Dudai and Prof. Nava Rubin of New York University designed a test with 'camouflage images' - photographs that had been systematically degraded until they resembled inkblots. When volunteers first viewed the images, they were hard pressed to identify them. But after the camouflage was switched with the original, undoctored picture for a second, the subjects experienced an 'Aha!' moment - the image now popped out clearly even in the degraded image. Their perceptions, says Ludmer, underwent a sudden change - just as a flash of insight instantly shifts our world view. To tax their memory of the insightful moment, participants were asked to repeat the exercise with dozens of different images and, in a later repeat session, they were given only the camouflaged images (together with some they hadn't seen before) to identify.

The team found that some of the memories disappeared over time, but the ones that made it past a week were likely to remain. All in all, about half of all the learned 'insights' seemed to be consolidated in the subjects' memories.

To reveal what occurs in the brain at the moment of insight, the initial viewing session was conducted in a functional MRI (fMRI) scanner. When the scientists looked at the fMRI results, they were surprised to find that among the areas that lit up in the scans - those known to be involved in object recognition, for instance - was the amygdala. The amygdala is more famously known as the seat of emotion in the brain. Though it has recently been found to play a role in the consolidation of certain memories, studies have implied that it does so by attaching special weight to emotion-laden events. But the images used in the experiment - hot-air balloons, dogs, people looking through binoculars, etc. - were hardly the sort to elicit an emotional response. Yet, not only was the amygdala lighting up in the fMRI, the team found that its activity was actually predictive of the subject's ability to identify the degraded image long after that moment of induced insight in which it was first recognized.

'Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that the amygdala is important for creating long-term memories - not only when the information learned is explicitly emotional, but also when there is a sudden reorganization of information in our brain, for example, involving a sudden shift in perception,' says Ludmer. 'It might somehow evaluate the event, 'deciding' whether it is significant and therefore worthy of preservation.'


'/>"/>

Contact: Yivsam Zagad
news@weizmann.ac.il
972-893-43852
Weizmann Institute of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Many veterans not getting enough treatment for PTSD
2. 57 Million Americans Are on the Brink of Getting Diabetes: A Convenient Lab Test Can Help Pull Them Back
3. Panel asks dairy avoiders: Are you getting enough?
4. Beware of Getting Caught in the Crossfire, Warns MediCare International
5. Some older ER patients are getting the wrong medicines, U-M study finds
6. Some Older ER Patients Are Getting the Wrong Medicines, U-M Study Finds
7. New Breast Cancer Book Offers Humor Filled Look at Being Thirty-Something, Single And Getting Through Diagnosis
8. Getting heavier, younger: U-M study shows generational shift in obesity
9. Getting Through the First 60 Days as a New Parent Just Got Easier
10. Fear of getting fat seen in healthy womens brain scans
11. Getting the bead on conception
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary couple ... From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, Carole ... and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has taught ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet ... in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, ... occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized ... have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October ... a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at ... for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) ... Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... BALTIMORE (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... average of $3,296 in property taxes a year. In some states—like New York, ... higher. , By contrast, many overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ® , a ... promise of precision medicine, today announced that St. Jude ... Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 th member. ... Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help develop standards of ... tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today ... Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , where ... Following a comprehensive ... minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and minimal ... completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company expects ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 2017   West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: ... drug administration, today shared the results of a study ... the intradermal administration of polio vaccines. The study results ... May 2017 by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical ... Organization (WHO), and recently published in the journal ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: