• The new work, published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, shows for the first time that artificial memories can be implanted into the brains of sleeping animals. It also provides more details about how populations of nerve cells encode spatial memories, and about the important role that sleep plays in making such memories stronger.
  • “This is exciting because it provides excellent evidence for the importance of place cells in guiding navigation to goals,” says Hugo Spiers, a spatial cognition researcher at UCL. “It is also remarkable that the authors have been able to incept a false memory into the brain during sleep using this method.”
  • This study involved implanting recording and stimulating electrodes directly into the animals’ brains, a highly invasive procedure. It’s therefore unlikely that the method would ever be used in humans, except under very special circumstances, such as the experiments performed during pre-surgical evaluation of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.

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