- Recent studies have shown that subpopulations of neurons activated during learning are reactivated during subsequent memory retrieval, and reactivation of a cell ensemble triggers the retrieval of the corresponding memory. Moreover, artificial reactivation of a specific neuronal ensemble corresponding to a pre-stored memory can modify the acquisition of a new memory, thereby generating false or synthetic memories.
- The team used a technique called optogenetics, which involves genetically modifying specific populations of neurons to express light-sensitive proteins that control neuronal excitability, and then delivering blue light through an optic fiber to activate those cells.
- The findings show that synchronous activation of distinct cell ensembles can generate artificial links between unrelated pieces of information stored in memory, resulting in long-lasting changes in behavior. “By modifying this technique, we will next attempt to artificially dissociate memories that are physiologically connected,” the researchers say.
Scientists create artificial link between unrelated memories
4. 6. 15 by Alex Klokus