'Spectacular discovery' of how memories are formed.

Posted by sam45 at Jul 02, 2015 02:05 PM |

Our latest paper has been published in Neuron (01 July 2015) and is already making headlines around the world.

The collaboration between Dr Matias Ison and Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga here in the CSN at the University of Leicester and Dr Itzhak Fried at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre revealed how a neuron in the brain instantly fired differently when a new memory was formed.

Patients were shown images of a person in a context e.g. Jennifer Aniston at the Eiffel Tower, Clint Eastwood in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Halle Berry at the Sidney Opera House or Tiger Woods at the White House. It was found that the neuron that formerly fired for a single image e.g. Jennifer Aniston or Halle Berry, now also fired for the associated image too i.e. the Eiffel Tower or Sidney Opera House.

‘The discovery that individual neurons in the Medial Temporal Lobe, the brain’s main engine for memory formation, changed their firing to encode new associations even after one single presentation provides a plausible mechanism underlying the creation of new memories. The study suggests that the experience of learning can be traced back to changes in individual neurons in the brain.’

-Dr Matias Ison, Lecturer in Bioengineering, University of Leicester

Rapid Encoding of New Memories by Individual Neurons in the Human Brain.
Matias J. Ison, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga and Itzhak Fried
Neuron 87, 220-230 2015

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