Scientists have tracked how animals develop memories
Scientists have seen for the first time how animals form memories. Researchers from the United States have shown on a brain map the changes that occur as information is stored.
This was reported by the Canadian edition of CBC. The editors refer to a study conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Southern California. The results are published on the Mapping the Dynamic Synaptome website.
The researchers worked with danio fish, which are a model genetic object with transparent heads.
The scientists spent six years developing ways to track individual synapses, specialised formations that ensure the transition of excitation from one neuron to another with the preservation, change or disappearance of information value. As a result, experts have created a new microscope to see synapses in action.
The photos obtained with its help give a three-dimensional image of the danio fish brain. The small green dots are synapses, the larger dots are neuronal nuclei.
The researchers taught the fish to learn a lesson and observed how the memory was stored in its brain.
The danio was taught to associate turning on the light with heating its head with an infrared laser, which they sought to avoid by swimming away. Fish that had learned to associate the light with an approaching laser would flick their tails to show that they had learned.
After five hours of training, the team was able to observe and record significant changes in the danio's brain. By comparing the synapse maps before and after training, the scientists identified those that were created or deleted in the process.
"Surprisingly, we found that memory formation is associated with the generation of new synapses rather than systematic changes in the strength of existing ones," the report says.
According to the researchers, understanding how synapses change during memorisation could have broad implications. For example, it will help to find out why negative associative memories associated with post-traumatic stress disorder or addiction are so strong.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, doctors told how crosswords and meditation improve memory.