Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Conscious And Unconscious Memory Linked In Storing New Information

Date:
April 4, 2006
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
The way the brain stores new, conscious information such as a first kiss or a childhood home is strongly linked to the way the human brain stores unconscious information.

Subjects were shown several pictures of scenes (upper left) and asked whether they occurred indoors or outdoors. Using fMRI, activity was monitored in the parahippocampal cortex (top right), while performing the task. Scenes that were later consciously remembered were associated with stronger overall activity during initial exposure, an index of better conscious memory. There was a larger difference between novel and repeated conditions, a neural signature of non-conscious memory.
Credit: Neuron

The way the brain stores new, conscious information such as a first kiss or a childhood home is strongly linked to the way the human brain stores unconscious information, researchers at Yale report this month in an article featured on the cover of Neuron.

This finding by Marvin Chun, professor in the Department of Psychology, and his team contrasts with the belief that all explicit (conscious) memory, and implicit (unconscious) memory, has distinct neural bases. The belief that the two types of memory are distinct has been illustrated by examples, including amnesiac patients with damage to the hippocampus and associated brain structures who have severely impaired explicit memory but intact implicit memory.

Instead of looking at how the storage of the two types of memory differs, Chun, Nicholas Turk-Browne, and Do-Yoon Yi focused on the common elements between them. Sixteen men and women viewed 120 photographs and answered which photos were taken indoors or outdoors. Each image was then shown once again. The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to record brain activity during the test.

Fifteen minutes later the subjects were given a third recognition test, this one unexpected, which included the original 120 photos plus 60 new photos. The subjects' response was again recorded by fMRI. By coding the brain imaging data according to whether the items were subsequently remembered or forgotten, the researchers were able to examine the neural signatures of memory formation.

"Remembered photographs were characterized by strong activation of medial temporal brain regions in response to their first presentation, but reduced activation in the same regions when the photos were repeated," Chun said. This reduction known as repetition attenuation is a well-known signature of implicit memory. The brain signal is not as strong when an image is viewed, remembered, and then viewed for a second time.

"Importantly, only the explicitly remembered photographs produced this weaker signal, demonstrating for the first time that explicit and implicit memory are strongly linked during the encoding of new information in the brain," he said.

Neuron 49: 917-927 (March 2006)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Conscious And Unconscious Memory Linked In Storing New Information." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060403132148.htm>.
Yale University. (2006, April 4). Conscious And Unconscious Memory Linked In Storing New Information. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060403132148.htm
Yale University. "Conscious And Unconscious Memory Linked In Storing New Information." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060403132148.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins