Apr 10, 2023

Scientists were able to enhance long-term memory storage in mice. Here’s how

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, virtual reality

Researchers in New York developed a virtual reality maze for mice in an attempt to demystify a question that’s been plaguing neuroscientists for decades: How are long-term memories stored?

What they found surprised them. After forming in the hippocampus, a curved structure that lies deep within the brain, the mice’s memories were actually rooted through what’s called the anterior thalamus, an area of the brain that scientists haven’t typically associated with memory processing at all.

“The thalamus being a clear winner here was very interesting for us, and unexpected,” said Priya Rajasethupathy, an associate professor at Rockefeller University and one of the coauthors of a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Cell this week. The thalamus “has often been thought of as a sensory relay, not very cognitive, not very important in memory.”

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