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Can traumatic memories be erased?
Tokyo, Japan - Scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered that Drosophila flies lose long-term memory (LTM) of a traumatic event when kept in the dark, the first confirmation of environmental light playing a role in LTM maintenance. The team also identified the specific molecular mechanism responsible for this effect. LTMs are notoriously difficult to erase; this work may lead to novel treatments for sufferers of trauma, perhaps even the erasure of life-altering traumatic memories. (2020-03-14)

How associative fear memory is formed in the brain
Using a mouse model, a pair of UC Riverside researchers demonstrated the formation of fear memory involves the strengthening of neural pathways between two brain areas: the hippocampus, which responds to a particular context and encodes it, and the amygdala, which triggers defensive behavior, including fear responses. (2020-03-13)

How brain cells lay down infrastructure to grow and create memories
Research published today in Science Advances sheds new light on the molecular machinery that enables the shape, growth and movement of neurons. It is the first time scientists have revealed how the brain shuttles genetic code within its cells, a process believed to be crucial for the formation and storage of long-term memories. (2020-03-13)

More than a nice coating
Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) have shown that specialized aggregates of molecules enwrapping nerve cells in the brain, the perineuronal nets, are crucial for regulating the connections between nerve cells that control motor memories. The discovery, published in the PNAS, provide novel insight into how memories are formed and stored in the brain. (2020-03-10)

Case Western Reserve University research finds high rates of trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms for those in drug court
Nearly 94% of defendants in Cuyahoga County drug court have been exposed to trauma and many suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a new Case Western Reserve University study. (2020-03-10)

NUS study reveals positive connection between nature experiences and happiness globally
An AI analysis of photographs posted on social media revealed a positive association between nature and happiness globally. (2020-03-09)

New sleep method strengthens brain's ability to retain memories
A new joint study by Tel Aviv University and Weizmann Institute of Science researchers has yielded an innovative method for bolstering memory processes in the brain during sleep. (2020-03-05)

Scientists monitored brains replaying memories in real time
In a study of epilepsy patients, researchers at the National Institutes of Health monitored the electrical activity of thousands of individual brain cells, called neurons, as patients took memory tests. They found that the firing patterns of the cells that occurred when patients learned a word pair were replayed fractions of a second before they successfully remembered the pair. (2020-03-05)

Sleeping sheep may offer clues to human brain disease
People may count sheep when they cannot sleep, but when they do finally drift off their brains generate the same type of brain wave as their ovine counterparts, according to new research published in eNeuro. Monitoring how a sheep's sleep changes during the progression of a brain disease may one day translate to sleep-based diagnosis in humans. (2020-03-02)

How sound and visual effects on slot machines increase the allure of gambling
The sights and sounds of winning on a slot machine may increase your desire to play--and your memories of winning big, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists. (2020-02-27)

Time-resolved measurement in a memory device
Researchers at ETH have measured the timing of single writing events in a novel magnetic memory device with a resolution of less than 100 picoseconds. Their results are relevant for the next generation of main memories based on magnetism. (2020-02-19)

How social media makes breakups that much worse
Even those who use Facebook features like unfriending, unfollowing, blocking and Take a Break still experience troubling encounters with ex-partners online, a new study shows. (2020-02-14)

Kitsch religious souvenirs can rekindle pilgrimage experience
'Tacky and 'kitsch' religious souvenirs brought back from pilgrimage sites offer pilgrims and their friends and family who cannot make the journey a deeper religious connection. (2020-02-13)

Brain imaging study reveals new clues about PTSD in victims of terrorist attacks
A new study published in Science suggests new therapeutic avenues for PTSD patients, after researchers explored the brainq of victims of the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. (2020-02-13)

Long-term learning requires new nerve insulation
In a study published Feb. 10, 2020 in Nature Neuroscience, UC San Francisco scientists have discovered that mice quickly learn a fearful response to a situation perceived as threatening, but for such a conditioned response to become long-lasting requires brain cells to increase amounts of an insulating material called myelin. (2020-02-10)

A happy partner leads to a healthier future
Michigan State University research found that those who are optimistic contribute to the health of their partners, staving off the risk factors leading to Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive decline as they grow old together. (2020-02-10)

Microglia regulate forgetting in the adult brain
The ability to forget our memories -- for better or worse -- is dependent on microglia and their inclination to weaken and eliminate the synapses connecting engram neurons, according to a new study in mice. (2020-02-06)

Focus on context diminishes memory of negative events, researchers report
In a new study, researchers report they can manipulate how the brain encodes and retains emotional memories. The scientists found that focusing on the neutral details of a disturbing scene can weaken a person's later memories -- and negative impressions -- of that scene. (2020-02-05)

Early life experiences biologically and functionally mature the brain, new research shows
Experiences early in life have an impact on the brain's biological and functional development, shows a new study by a team of neuroscientists. (2020-02-03)

Brain-cell helpers powered by norepinephrine during fear-memory formation
A sustained state of vigilance will generate a different type of memory than a momentary startle, and these differences are linked to distinct signaling molecules in the brains of mice. Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) have visualized these dynamics in the living mouse brain for the first time, observing two molecular pathways that support memory function. These processes take place in astrocytes, revealing another important way in which these cells help neurons. (2020-01-24)

Organoids open window into development of human forebrain
Brain region-specific organoids have allowed researchers to peer inside the complex programming of human forebrain development, a process once inaccessible to molecular study. (2020-01-23)

What it's like to live without a sense of smell
New research from the University of East Anglia (UK) reveals the impact of smell loss. As many as one in 20 people live without smell. But until now there has been little research into the range of emotional and practical impacts it causes. The new study finds that almost every aspect of life is disrupted - from everyday concerns about personal hygiene to a loss of sexual intimacy and the break-down of personal relationships. (2020-01-22)

Is it time to stop ringing the cancer bell?
A study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology * Biology * Physics finds that patients who celebrate the end of cancer treatment by ringing a bell report more distressful memories of treatment than those who finish without ringing a bell. (2020-01-22)

With these neurons, extinguishing fear is its own reward
The same neurons responsible for encoding reward also form new memories to suppress fearful ones, according to new research by scientists at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. (2020-01-15)

Memory boost with just one look
HRL Laboratories, LLC, researchers have published results showing that targeted transcranial electrical stimulation during slow-wave sleep can improve metamemories of specific episodes by 20% after only one viewing of the episode, compared to controls. The same technology may offer a non-invasive treatment to mitigate bad memories that might cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Metamemory describes the sensitivity of whether memories are recalled accurately or not, such as during eyewitness testimony. (2020-01-14)

Using light to learn
Maintaining long-term memories requires environmental light, according to research in fruit flies recently published in JNeurosci. (2020-01-13)

Long-term memory performance depends upon gating system, study finds
Why do we remember some experiences for our entire lives but quickly forget others? The brain is constantly deciding which events are important enough for long-term storage. A new study from the lab of Scripps Research Neuroscientist Ron Davis, PhD, sheds light on one element of that process. (2020-01-13)

Engrams emerging as the basic unit of memory
A review in Science traces neuroscientists' progress in studying the neural substrate for storing memories and raises key future questions for the field. (2020-01-02)

Paving the way for spintronic RAMs: A deeper look into a powerful spin phenomenon
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology explore a new material combination that sets the stage for magnetic random access memories, which rely on spin -- an intrinsic property of electrons -- and could outperform current storage devices. Their breakthrough published in a new study describes a novel strategy to exploit spin-related phenomena in topological materials, which could spur several advances in the field of spin electronics. Moreover, this study provides additional insight into the underlying mechanism of spin-related phenomena. (2019-12-26)

Home for the holidays -- But will grandpa remember me?
Home for the Holidays - But Will Grandpa Remember Me? Now there's Hope; Hebrew University Team Finds TB Vaccine Lowers Rates of Alzheimer's Disease in Cancer Patients (2019-12-23)

Brain waves in mice change based on memory age
Researchers have discovered signatures in brain activity that allow them to tell old and new memories apart. The team at Japan's RIKEN Center for Brain Science analyzed recordings from mouse brains using a machine-leaning algorithm, which was able to accurately classify memories as recent or remote. They also found robust communication between a frontal brain region and the hippocampus, a link which may form a concrete mechanism that tracks the age of memories. This research was published in the journal Cell Reports. (2019-12-17)

Collective memory shapes the construction of personal memories
For sociologists, our individual memories are shaped by the collective memory of our community. Until now, this phenomenon had never been studied at the neurobiological level. Inserm researchers Pierre Gagnepain and Francis Eustache studied the collective representations of WWII in France, using brain imaging to show how collective memory shapes individual memory. Their findings have been published in Nature Human Behavior. (2019-12-16)

Demonstration of high-speed SOT-MRAM memory cell compatible with 300mm Si CMOS technology
Researchers have announced the demonstration of high-speed spin-orbit-torque magnetoresistive random access memory cell compatible with 300 mm Si CMOS technology. (2019-12-09)

The genetic signature of memory
Despite their importance in memory, the human cortex and subcortex display a distinct collection of 'gene signatures.' The work recently published in eNeuro increases our understanding of how the brain creates memories and identifies potential genes for further investigation. (2019-12-09)

Virtual reality illuminates the power of opioid-associated memories
The brain acts differently when remembering environments associated with drug use. (2019-12-08)

Between arousal and inhibition
Why nerve cells in the brain process information differently. (2019-12-05)

One shot of ketamine could reduce problem drinking
A one-off dose of ketamine could help heavy drinkers reduce their alcohol intake, finds a new UCL experimental study published in Nature Communications. (2019-11-26)

NUS researchers use machine learning tools to reveal how memories are coded in the brain
These findings indicate that stable short-term memory information exists within a population of neurons with dynamic activity. (2019-11-26)

How mantis shrimp make sense of the world
A new study provides insight into how the small brains of mantis shrimp - fierce predators with keen vision that are among the fastest strikers in the animal kingdom - are able to make sense of a breathtaking amount of visual input. (2019-11-25)

Virtual 'moonwalk' for science reveals distortions in spatial memory
In order to orient ourselves in space, and to find our way around, we form mental maps of our surroundings. But what happens if the coordinate system of our brain, which measures our mental maps, is distorted? Jacob Bellmund and Christian Doeller from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences show in Nature Human Behaviour that under these circumstances there are also distortions in our spatial memory. (2019-11-18)

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