Issue No. 7
Watching Memories FormDate: January 24, 2010
Ever wondered what was happening inside your brain as it processes a memory?
Researchers at Johns Hopkins discovered just that by watching live neurons—or brain cells—via a specially built microscope. What they found was another step in how we form and maintain long-term memories.
“It’s been a long-standing challenge in our field, trying to see a process that involves a handful of molecules and happens so quickly,” says neuroscientist Richard Huganir, Ph.D. “We just haven’t had the right tools.”
The study will help more researchers understand memory formation and also what goes wrong when our memories don’t work as well, such as with age-related memory disorders and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.