Research Press Release

Remembrance of things past

Nature Neuroscience

January 30, 2012

The synchronized activity between brain areas is likely to be key for visually remembering things over short periods of time reports a paper published online this week in Nature Neuroscience. Gregor Rainer and his colleagues recorded electrical activity in a visual area at the back of the brain and the prefrontal cortex, towards the front of the brain in monkeys. During these recordings, the monkeys had to remember a specific shape they had been shown, and, when presented with another set of shapes, they had to indicate which of these matched the shape they were holding in mind. The authors found that when the animals were trying to remember the shape they had seen, there was increased synchronization in brain oscillatory activity happening at a particular set of frequencies known as the theta band. Moreover, the greater this synchronization, the more likely it was that an animal would remember the shape correctly.

DOI:10.1038/nn.3038 | Original article

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