memory research chemicals being stored as memory

Finding the Messenger – memory research visualises neural pathway

When I first read this article I thought it was an April Fool. It put me in mind of previous studies by Karl S. Lashley where researchers tried to find the ‘Engram’ – a physical structure representative of a single memory – and failed. It seems that the storage of memory is non-local, i.e. distributed among a neural network involving many different regions of the brain, which is probably why Lashley’s attempt to ‘splice out’ the memory region of the cortex was unsuccessful.

The Molecular Basis of Memory Function: Tracking mRNA in Brain Cells

However, this research published in ‘Science’ has utilised up-to-date visualisation technology and builds on our understanding that Messenger RNA (mRNA) seems to be involved in the memory pathway, both in formation and retrieval.

On a personal level, this pie chart best illustrates the fickle nature of the every-day reality of memory function…still, check out the video below to see those little brain-messengers at work: