Brain state affects memory recall
Lost your keys? Your brain might be in a better state to recall where you put them at some times than at others, according to new research from UC Davis. A paper describing the work is published June 13 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"It's been assumed that the process of retrieving a memory is cued by an external stimulus," said Charan Ranganath, professor at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology. "But we found that the levels of brain activity before items came up were correlated with memory."
Graduate students Richard Addante and Andrew Watrous; Ranganath; Andrew Yonelinas, professor of psychology at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain; and Arne Ekstrom, assistant professor of psychology at the Center for Neuroscience, measured a particular frequency of brainwaves called theta oscillations in the brains of volunteers during a memory test.
Theta waves are associated with a brain that is actively monitoring something, Ranganath said. For example, rats show high theta waves while exploring a maze.
In the memory test, the volunteers had to memorize a series of words with a related context. They later had to recall whether they had seen the word previously and the context in which the word was seen.
High theta waves immediately before being prompted to remember an item were associated with better performance.
The work goes against the assumption that the brain is waiting to react to the external world, Ranganath said. In fact, most of the brain is busy with internal activity that is not related to the outside world and when external stimuli come in, they interact with these spontaneous patterns of activity.
It's not clear whether it is possible to deliberately put your brain into a better state for memory recall, Ranganath said. The laboratory is currently investigating that area with the hope that it might lead to better treatments for memory loss.
Provided by University of California - Davis
- Article on memory may make a lasting impression, depending on theta phase lock Mar 24, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Learning keeps brain healthy: study Mar 02, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers develop new method for studying 'mental time travel' Dec 22, 2005 | not rated yet | 0
- Rote learning improves memory in seniors Nov 27, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Study: Theta rhythm reduces seizure rate Jun 20, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
13 hours ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
Neuroscience 4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Moving objects attract greater attention – a fact exploited by video screens in public spaces and animated advertising banners on the Internet. For most animal species, moving objects also play a major ...
Neuroscience 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
It is known that signs of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease can appear years before the disease becomes manifest; these signs take the form of subtle changes in the brain and behavior of ...
Neuroscience 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Scientists have reversed behavioral and brain abnormalities in adult mice that resemble some features of schizophrenia by restoring normal expression to a suspect gene that is over-expressed in humans with ...
Neuroscience 8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have unraveled the molecular foundations of cocaine's effects on the brain, and identified a compound that blocks cravings for the drug in cocaine-addicted mice. The compound, already proven safe ...
Neuroscience 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
7 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Calorie information in fast food restaurants used by 40 percent of 9-18 year olds when making food choices
A new study published online today (Thursday) in the Journal of Public Health has found that of young people who visited fast food or chain restaurants in the U.S. in 2010, girls and youth who were obese were more likely ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Implementation of systematic monitoring for medication adherence will allow for identification of barriers to adherence and tailoring of interventions, according to a viewpoint piece published ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0