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Brain rehearsal time ensures lasting memory performance

Date:
February 14, 2012
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Researchers have established that the ability of the brain to rehearse or repeat electrical impulses may be absolutely critical in order to make a newly acquired memory more permanent.

U of A researchers have established that the brain's ability to rehearse or repeat electrical impulses may be critical in making a newly acquired memory more permanent.

U of A psychology professor Clayton Dickson likened the process to someone trying to permanently memorize a phone number: "We repeat the number several times to ourselves, so hopefully we can automatically recall it when needed."

Dickson, the lead researcher on the project, says that neurons likely rehearse the process for recalling newly installed memories by using the brain's downtime to send and resend signals back and forth, establishing well practiced synaptic connections.

"Those connections allow the brain to retrieve the memories, and rehearsal ensures that they last for a long time," said Dickson. "It was previously thought that only biochemical processes, like protein synthesis, were important for solidifying memories."

Dickson says this work could lead to beneficial results. "Further investigation of this process could be used to improve an individual's memory and possibly as a tool to delete negative or post traumatic memories."

A paper outlining the research by graduate student Arjun Sharma, and U of A colleagues Dickson and Frank Nargang, was published Feb. 14 in The Journal of Neuroscience.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. The original article was written by Brian Murphy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. V. Sharma, F. E. Nargang, C. T. Dickson. Neurosilence: Profound Suppression of Neural Activity following Intracerebral Administration of the Protein Synthesis Inhibitor Anisomycin. Journal of Neuroscience, 2012; 32 (7): 2377 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3543-11.2012

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Brain rehearsal time ensures lasting memory performance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120214215516.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2012, February 14). Brain rehearsal time ensures lasting memory performance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120214215516.htm
University of Alberta. "Brain rehearsal time ensures lasting memory performance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120214215516.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

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