What can Google tell us about ‘the memory web’ in the brain?

Posted by aa783 at Dec 05, 2016 01:15 PM |

An innovative new study by researchers here at the CSN, in collaboration with the University of California Los Angeles, have had their research published in the Journal Nature Communications, shedding light on how neurons in memory-related areas provide a long-term coding of associations between concepts.

The team (first author Emanuela De Falco) also used internet search engines, such as Google and Bing, to explore a much larger database of associations between concepts and then investigated more comprehensively how neurons represent the intricate web of associations and memories. 

They found that whenever neurons fire to more than one concept, they tend to be related both according to the subjects' scores and the internet searches.

Professor Quiroga added: "Interestingly, the patients were not performing a memory task, they were just passively watching pictures. So, the coding of associations is not contingent to the performance of a task -- in which case, it could be argued that neurons temporarily encode such associations and then do something else -- but it rather represents a long-term memory storage."

You can read the paper in full here

For further press coverage please see below:

Nature Press release:
http://www.natureasia.com/en/research/highlight/11128

UoL Press Release:
http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2016/november/what-can-google-tell-us-about-2018the-memory-web2019-in-the-brain

New Scientist:
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2112755-how-our-brains-recall-celebrities-is-mirrored-by-search-engines/

Science Daily:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161115121524.htm

La Nacion (Argentina)
http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1956545-desentranan-un-mecanismo-clave-del-telar-de-la-memoria

Il Fatto Quotidiano (Italy)
http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2016/11/16/cervello-come-nasce-un-ricordo-ce-lo-spiegano-google-e-bing/3197325/

La Vanguardia (Spain)
http://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20161115/411892934714/las-asociaciones-entre-conceptos-estan-marcadas-por-un-patron-neuronal.html

 

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