Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Memory Mission Explores New Territory In Neuroscience

Date:
December 1, 2008
Source:
Queensland Brain Institute
Summary:
Astrophysicists peer into the far corners of deep space for dark matter, but for neuroscientists are exploring the unknown is much closer to home.

Researchers have discovered a mechanism vital to the development of the hippocampus – a region of the brain crucial to the formation of memories, and the lifelong production and integration of new nerve cells.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queensland Brain Institute

Astrophysicists peer into the far corners of deep space for dark matter, but for neuroscientists at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) exploring the unknown is much closer to home.

Related Articles


They have discovered a mechanism vital to the development of the hippocampus * – a region of the brain crucial to the formation of memories, and the lifelong production and integration of new nerve cells.

To say the hippocampus is important is a bit like saying breathing is optimal.

According to QBI's Associate Professor Linda Richards, despite the crucial role performed by the hippocampus throughout life, knowledge of this region's early development remains surprisingly scant. Her research team is looking at how the brain forms during embryonic and foetal development.

Dr Richards and her colleagues have identified a gene that regulates the development of glial cells in the hippocampus. Their research shows that the hippocampus contains different populations of glial cells that are essential for the structural integrity of the hippocampus.

"Glial cells are an important part of the building blocks of the brain," Dr Richards said.

"They provide an essential scaffold for the migration of neurons in the developing brain. It is vital we understand how glial cells provide this structural scaffold because if the hippocampus is not formed correctly it cannot perform all the functions required of it in the developing and adult brain," she said.

"The hippocampus plays an integral role in spatial navigation, learning and memory, and is a major site for adult neurogenesis."

Mice lacking the gene that regulates glial cell differentiation exhibit major developmental irregularities, including catastrophic structural deformities of the hippocampus.

Equipped with this knowledge, researchers studying the hippocampus now have a better understanding of the genes that help control the development of this vital brain region. Fundamental scientific knowledge of this kind is an essential step in understanding brain function and repair.

* The term hippocampus is derived from the Greek words "hippos" (horse) and "campus" (sea monster). The brain region known as the hippocampus has the characteristic shape of a sea-horse's tail.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Barry et al. Specific Glial Populations Regulate Hippocampal Morphogenesis. Journal of Neuroscience, 2008; 28 (47): 12328 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4000-08.2008

Cite This Page:

Queensland Brain Institute. "Memory Mission Explores New Territory In Neuroscience." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081121092456.htm>.
Queensland Brain Institute. (2008, December 1). Memory Mission Explores New Territory In Neuroscience. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081121092456.htm
Queensland Brain Institute. "Memory Mission Explores New Territory In Neuroscience." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081121092456.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. 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