Scientists hack memory. Will we remember if we leave the stove burning?

Research conducted by Wake Forest University (WFU) and the University of Southern California (USC) found that it can help people remember certain images more easily. Unfortunately (at least for now) it won't remind us whether we've turned off the gas under the soup pot or the iron.

The experiments were conducted on 14 adults with epilepsy, who had brain electrodes placed to identify seizure foci. In 2018, the team tested neural implants designed to “code” information into the hippocampus – the place where memories are said to be “stored” in the brain. These electrical codes are designed to mimic the pattern of neural activity associated with remembering information. Now, a computer model has been used that monitors the brain activity of a specific person to find out the patterns responsible for remembering certain images.

In a visual memory test, this paradigm generated specific stimulus patterns for each person that were associated with remembering images of animals, buildings, plants, tools and vehicles. After the neural “codes” were artificially reintroduced to the hippocampus, the number of study participants decreased by 22 percent. They matched better with previously remembered images. The results rose to 38 percent. When both hemispheres of the brain were stimulated, the study included people with memory disorders.

The researchers plan to continue researching how basic information is encoded and retrieved in the hippocampus. They also want to know if one person's memory patterns can be used to stimulate another person's memory.

sources: Roeder BM, She , Berger TW, Deadwyler SA, Song D and Hampson RE (2024) Development of a hippocampal neural prosthesis to facilitate human memory encoding and retrieval of stimulus features and categories. Before. account. Neurology. 18:1263311. Two: 10.3389/fncom.2024.1263311,
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