MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons
Update 12/2/15: We’ve now followed up on this story: The more we learn about memory, the weirder it gets. The original continues below. MIT researchers have shown, for the first time ever, that memories are stored in specific brain cells. By triggering a small cluster of neurons, the researchers were able to force the subject to recall a specific memory. By removing these neurons, the subject would lose that memory. As you can imagine, the trick here is activating individual neurons, which are incredibly small and not really the kind of thing you can attach electrodes to. Now, just to temper your excitement, we should note that MIT’s subjects in this case are mice — but it’s very, very likely that the human brain functions in the same way. In the experiment, MIT gave mice an electric shock to create a fear memory in the hippocampus region of the brain (pictured above) — and then later, using laser light, activated the neurons where the memory was stored.
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