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Optogenetics Uncovers Working Memory’s High-Dimensional Circuitry

By contrasting a working memory-dependent task where mice are rewarded upon successful matching of a visual stimulus to one seen earlier, and a working memory-independent task, with identical delay, stimuli, and rewards, scientists have characterized the metrics of how working memory is represented in neural circuits. The study provides support for a "high-dimensional" representation for the maintenance of working memory, in which dispersed cell populations encode working memory with subtle variables in firing uncorrelated to patterns of activity.

Brains Suppress Unwanted Memories: A Human Neuroimaging Study

The ACC detects when you are about to think of an unwanted memory and alerts other regions to suppress it. According to research recently published where normal young adults of both sexes were subjected to a memory suppression task while researchers simultaneously conducted EEG and fMRI on them, activity in the ACC increases within 500 milliseconds of the task, relays the "need for control" to the DLPFC, which in turn inhibits hippocampal activity and memory retrieval.

Memory Encoding Disrupted by Decoupled Astrocyte Networks in Mice

Communication through astrocyte networks controls the formation of spatial memories and plasticity in the hippocampus. Scientists have uncovered in a study on mutant mice lacking two major channel proteins that form portals of communication among astrocytes, that the decoupling of astrocytic networks impairs neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission, long term potentiation of neuronal signals, plasticity and the formation of spatial memories. Disrupted astrocyte networks also results in abnormal activation of microglia.

Infrared Light Improves Memory in Pilot Clinical Trial on Healthy Individuals

A pilot clinical trial conducted by scientists at Durham University in collaboration with Maculume Ltd., provided evidence that self-administration of near-infrared light at 1068 nm wavelength twice daily may improve memory function in healthy, middle-aged people with normal intellectual capacities. The study included 14 healthy people, aged 45 and above who self-deliver six minutes of PBM-T (photobiomodulation therapy) twice daily over four weeks and a placebo group of 13 healthy individuals who wore a dummy PBM-T helmet. The authors said the therapy might have the potential to help people living with dementia and other disorders such as Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury, and motor neuron disease.

Oxygen Releasing Protein Staves Off Age-Related Decline in Memory and Hearing

Scientists show a protein present in the membrane of red blood cells, ADORA2B, responsible for releasing oxygen, holds the key to understanding age-related decline in memory and hearing, and enhanced inflammation in the brain. The authors show mice without this protein display enhanced biomarkers of aging and young mice lacking the protein are more susceptible to oxygen deprivation than normal mice. These findings indicate that the red blood cell ADORA2B–BPGM axis is a key component for limiting age–related functional decline.

Neuronal Code for How Humans Negotiate Their Environment Identified

Scientists at Columbia University and the University of California, Los Angeles are the first to demonstrate that phase precession, a time coding neuronal mechanism, plays a significant role in the human brain, and links not only sequential positions, as seen in earlier animal studies, but also abstract progression towards specific goals.

EEG Brainwave Study Connects Experiences and Expectations

A study on epileptic patients with EEG electrodes implanted into their brains shows feedforward signals can establish a link between a single visual experience and electrical waves in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.