Thus the hippocampus solidifies your long-term memories

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Carlos Laforet Coll

The study reveals that the CA2 region of the hippocampus plays a key role in long-term memory consolidation

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The study reveals that the CA2 region of the hippocampus plays a key role in long-term memory consolidation

Uno study identified a brain region that plays a key role in coordinating the reproductive process that consolidates memories during sleep. This finding could have important implications for neurological disorders, such as schizophrenia.

The activities we do while awake produce short-term memories, which are subsequently consolidated into long-term memory within a brain structure called the hippocampus. This process has been linked to distinctive brain wave patterns known as activity of ripple to where acute in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, which triggers the selective reactivation of the neural circuits associated with recent experiences.

A team of researchers has been interested in how another region of the hippocampus, CA2, contributes to this activity; CA2 is thought to be primarily involved in formation of memories related to social interactions.

The researchers genetically manipulated CA2 neurons so that they could be briefly silenced, rather than largely inactivated. They then examined how this transient inactivation of CA2 affects memory formation during rest; finally, this manipulation radically altered the reproductive process in the hippocampus.

In particular, CA2 inactivation did not appear to significantly affect short-term memory formation during the active exploration period. These findings strongly support the idea that the CA2's role goes far beyond social interaction and can extend to memory creation in general. As this region is also linked to numerous other brain regions, the researchers wish to further explore the involvement of CA2 in integrating neural information in both health and disease.

An interesting connection is with i mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, where inappropriate links between memories can underlie symptoms such as disordered thinking or paranoia.

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Photos: Neuron

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