Research

The computer model helped to better understand how human memory works.

Our brain is very strangea network of neurons that form such complex structures that physicians have not finally figured out how they are arranged to this day. But scientists do not give up, and not so long ago, thanks to the efforts of experts from Japan, we began to know a little more about human memory. Moreover, scientists helped make this a special computer model, which very accurately reproduced the functioning of our central nervous system.

Our brain is a very complex mechanism

How the computer helped to understand the structure of the brain

According to Science Daily, a group of scientistsfrom the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology and the RIKEN Research Center, she created an artificial neural network to simulate brain function. First of all, they were interested in how associative memory is structured. Associative memory is the ability to bind unrelated elements and store them in memory together. A team of scientists used sequentially located patterns of information to simulate the “processes of occurrence of memory” and found that the machine is able to remember patterns, even if they are not alike. However, the information templates did not “move” from one section to another. A new connection was formed between them.

This simple model shows us how the brainprocesses pieces of information in sequential and non-sequential order, explains Professor Tomoki Fukai, one of the project managers. By simulating neurons using computers, we can begin to understand how memory processing takes place in our own minds.

One of the principles of memory formation isthe fact that cells that function together form bonds between themselves and after a while are synchronized. A simple example is learning to play musical instruments. At first, it’s hard for us to get used to all these chords and notes, but over time, all the brain systems are synchronized and we acquire a skill that we don’t even think about using. Everything happens "on its own." Another simpler example is learning speech, writing, or walking. Anyway, learning something new is great. Our Yandex.Zen page is perfect for this.

An approximate diagram of the device of associative memory. Ovals - clusters of information, lines connecting ovals - associative connections

However, there is one problem in the above scheme -Neurobiology believes that for the formation of connections and remembering the functions of excitation and inhibition of the central nervous system are in some kind of balance, shifted towards excitation. Roughly speaking, in order to form an associative connection, the central nervous system must "work faster." It sounds logical, but it turned out to be not quite so. Excitation and inhibition functions were built into the computer model created by scientists from Japan, and the latter could act both locally and throughout the neural network. It turned out that it is the inhibitory elements that allow the model to memorize patterns and form sections of memory.

See also: Scientists first restored memory in Alzheimer's disease

Now scientists are focused on conductingadditional studies that will confirm their findings in practice. Ultimately, the team plans to move to a more accurate model of building the brain and studying the processes of memory, perception and getting rid of unwanted memories. All this will help not only in understanding the functioning of the central nervous system, but also in the development of methods for combating diseases accompanied by loss of memory and mental abilities.