Scientists understand how the brain remembers a sequence of events

Our memory is extremely interesting in terms ofview of medicine and physiology phenomenon. On the one hand, doctors are well aware of the principles of her work. On the other hand, if you try to "dig deeper", then the specific mechanisms of the functioning of certain processes are still a mystery. But recently, one mystery has become less, as a group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute figured out how our brain remembers the sequence of events.

How does human memory work?

According to modern concepts, an important roleentorhinal cortex located in the temporal lobe plays the role of memory. In order to understand exactly what mechanisms underlie the functioning of the brain, scientists decided to go for a very unusual experiment. And they used a video game for this.

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26 subjects were supposed to play a game oftreasure hunt. All treasures were hidden in chests in a virtual maze. In this case, the subjects had to remember not the route of the virtual city, but the sequence in which they found each treasure. The players had three teleporters installed on the route, transferring them to a random part of the map. This allowed us to eliminate the element of “memorization” of the route and force the players to acquire new information. Before and after the training, the researchers used a highly sensitive MRI scanner to measure how the above actions affected the brain.

Events that occurred during the experiment,triggered outbursts of activity in the entorhinal cortex, said lead author of the study, Jacob Bellmund. This means that when participants of the experiment found treasures, their part of the brain reacted to receiving new information. Moreover, these outbreaks arose as some “foci” connected by neural connections. And in this way it was possible to understand where exactly in the brain the memories are “laid off”.

The experiment did not end there. After some time, the scientists again gathered the participants of the experiment and asked them to recall all the treasures that they encountered along the route. In this case, people needed to restore the exact sequence in which the objects were found. All people had another MRI scan again. Then the fun began: the participants in the experiment, whose link between the memory areas was preserved, remembered everything that they had seen on the path with little or no change. While people in whom these connections were broken, the events were restored very poorly.

Researchers say that collectively thesethe data show that it is the entorhinal cortex of the brain that is responsible for the processes of memorization, as well as how our brain “carries events in time” so that they do not merge into a “mess”.

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