How memories are REALLY made: Incredible pictures from the video captures their formation in the brain
The experimentation was done in a Rat Brain .Various Pictures Reveals the Crucial Molecules for making Memories and how they travel Inside the Brain. Molecules were given fluorescent tags so they could be observed inn the video more accurately. They were watched in real time as they moved to form memories inside the rat brain.This amazing video may in future help us to create new memories , change the existing or even store the memories for a long term.
Researchers say it could have major implications for our understanding of how the brain works.
HOW THEY DID IT
The research was carried out at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University used advanced imaging techniques to provide the unique window into how the brain makes memories.They describe their work as ‘a technological tour de force never before achieved in animals’.
The experiment tracks molecules crucial to making memories, which were given fluorescent ‘tags’ so they could be observed traveling in real time in living brain cells.
The Einstein researchers stimulated neurons from the mouse’s hippocampus, where memories are made and stored, and then watched fluorescently glowing beta-actin mRNA molecules form in the nuclei of neurons and travel within dendrites, the neuron’s branched projections.
‘Efforts to discover how neurons make memories have long confronted a major roadblock: Neurons are extremely sensitive to any kind of disruption, yet only by probing their innermost workings can scientists view the molecular processes that culminate in memories,’ the researchers say.
‘It’s noteworthy that we were able to develop this mouse without having to use an artificial gene or other interventions that might have disrupted neurons and called our findings into question,’ said Robert Singer, Ph.D., the senior author of both papers.
In the research described in the two Science papers, the Einstein researchers stimulated neurons from the mouse’s hippocampus, where memories are made and stored, and then watched fluorescently glowing beta-actin mRNA molecules form in the nuclei of neurons and travel within dendrites, the neuron’s branched projections.
They discovered that mRNA in neurons is regulated through a novel process described as “masking” and ‘unmasking,’ which allows beta-actin protein to be synthesized at specific times and places and in specific amounts.
The teams findings suggest that neurons have developed an ingenious strategy for controlling how memory-making proteins do their job.
‘This observation that neurons selectively activate protein synthesis and then shut it off fits perfectly with how we think memories are made,’ said Dr. Singer.
‘Frequent stimulation of the neuron would make mRNA available in frequent, controlled bursts, causing beta-actin protein to accumulate precisely where it’s needed to strengthen the synapse.’
To gain further insight into memory’s molecular basis, the Singer lab is developing technologies for imaging neurons in the intact brains of living mice in collaboration with another Einstein faculty member in the same department, Vladislav Verkhusha, Ph.D.
Since the hippocampus resides deep in the brain, they hope to develop infrared fluorescent proteins that emit light that can pass through tissue.
Another possibility is a fiberoptic device that can be inserted into the brain to observe memory-making hippocampal neurons.
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