Brain rehearsal time ensures lasting memory performance

University of Alberta researchers have established that the ability of the brain to rehearse or repeat electrical impulses may be absolutely critical in order to make a newly acquired memory more permanent.

U of A psychology professor Clayton Dickson likened the process to someone trying to permanently memorize a phone number, "We repeat the number several times to ourselves, so hopefully we can automatically recall it when needed."

Dickson, the lead researcher on the project, says that neurons likely rehearse the process for recalling newly installed memories by using the brain's downtime to send and resend signals back and forth, establishing well practiced synaptic connections. "Those connections allow the brain to retrieve the memories and rehearsal ensures that they last for a long time," said Dickson. "It was previously thought that only biochemical processes like were important for solidifying memories"

Dickson says further investigation of this process could be used to improve an individual's memory and possibly as a tool to delete negative or post .

More information: The paper by graduate student Arjun Sharma and U of A colleagues Dickson and Frank Nargang was published February 14, in The Journal of Neuroscience.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drug may help overwrite bad memories

May 26, 2011

Recalling painful memories while under the influence of the drug metyrapone reduces the brain's ability to re-record the negative emotions associated with them, according to University of Montreal researchers at the Centre ...

Recommended for you

'Chatty' cells help build the brain

6 hours ago

The cerebral cortex, which controls higher processes such as perception, thought and cognition, is the most complex structure in the mammalian central nervous system. Although much is known about the intricate ...

'Trigger' for stress processes discovered in the brain

21 hours ago

At the Center for Brain Research at the MedUni Vienna an important factor for stress has been identified in collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm (Sweden). This is the protein secretagogin ...

New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

Nov 26, 2014

Using world-leading research methods, the team of Dr David Wright and Prof Paul Holmes, working with Dr Jacqueline Williams from the Victoria University in Melbourne, studied activity in an area of the brain ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

A_Paradox
not rated yet Feb 15, 2012
This report is too brief! I mean the concept is very interesting, and I am surprised that this is the "first time" that concrete evidence of memory consolidation through rehearsals has been found.

And ... which areas of the brain are rehearsing the interaction patterns?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.