Wednesday, August 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Study examines how brain files memories by time

By
From page A4 | March 16, 2014 |

Before I left the house this morning, I let the cat out and started the dishwasher. Or was that yesterday?

Very often, our memories must distinguish not just what happened and where, but when an event occurred — and what came before and after. New research from the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience shows that a part of the brain called the hippocampus stores memories by their “temporal context” — what happened before, and what came after.

“We need to remember not just what happened, but when,” said graduate student Liang-Tien (Frank) Hsieh, first author on the paper published March 5 in the journal Neuron.

The hippocampus is thought to be involved in forming memories. But it’s not clear whether the hippocampus stores representations of specific objects, or if it represents them in context.

Hsieh and Charan Ranganath, professor in the department of psychology and the Center for Neuroscience, looked for hippocampus activity linked to particular memories. First, they showed volunteers a series of pictures of animals and objects. Then they scanned the volunteers’ brains as they showed them the same series again, with questions such as, “is this alive?” or “does this generate heat?”

The questions prompted the volunteers to search their memories for information. When the images were shown in the same sequence as before, the volunteers could anticipate the next image, making for a faster response.

From brain scans of the hippocampus as the volunteers were answering questions, Hsieh and Ranganath could identify patterns of activity specific to each image. But when they showed the volunteers the same images in a different sequence, they got different patterns of activity.

In other words, the coding of the memory in the hippocampus was dependent on its context, not just on content.

“It turns out that when you take the image out of sequence, the pattern disappears,” Ranganath said. “For the hippocampus, context is critical, not content, and it’s fairly unique in how it pulls things together.”

Other parts of the brain store memories of objects that are independent of their context, Ranganath noted.

“For patients with memory problems this is a big deal,” Ranganath said. “It’s not just something that’s useful in understanding healthy memory, but allows us to understand and intervene in memory problems.”

Co-authors on the paper are Matthias Gruber and Lucas Jenkins, both at the Center for Neuroscience.

— UC Davis News

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Summer jobs: a scramble for spots, extra cash

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Davis Arts Center gets a new look, thanks to Brooks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Report details the face of hunger in Yolo County

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    ‘Monsters University’ to be screened in Central Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    California regulators approve PG&E rate hike

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    America’s ‘it’ school? Look west, Harvard

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: B3

     
    School board preps for new academic year

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

    The big moveout, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sunder campaign will be at Farmers Market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Classic car show slated in Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Students can practice safe bike routes to junior highs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Art Garage honored; bench dedication set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Woodland historical award winners announced

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Delta-friendly water bond is a win for all of California

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Bravo! The road diet works

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

    Support water bond in November

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Relay for Life team says thanks

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Crisp’s big hit helps A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie QB Baty is back to pass … Touchdown, Tina! Tina?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    I’m not an ‘athlete’ but curling is hard

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1

     
    Hard hoops schedule features defending national champ at UCD

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie gymnasts are awesome at academics

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sacramento scores early to snap skid

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    Unplayable? Cubs, rain hand Giants a loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    Food that travels well for cooking out

    By Julie Cross | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

     
    Visit Crawfish and Catfish Festival in Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Artists invited to paint at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Goldberg, Milstein to play at Village Homes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    The voice on the CD comes alive at Music Together concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Crowd funding campaign offers support for Art Theater of Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Railroad museum will host Aberbach memorial

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6