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Scientists advance understanding of memory processes

Scientists advance understanding of memory processes
27th September 2012

Scientists in Germany have advanced their understanding of memory and learning processes in a new study.

The discovery may hold potential for understanding the effects of dementia on the ability of patients to remember events and learn new information.

Researchers observed that the brain filters electrical neuronal signals through an input and output control. This regulates learning and memory, using theta-frequency impulses of the cerebral cortex.

Without these impulses, electrical activity in the brain is non-existent or weak. This activity is needed for signal transmission in other areas of the brain through long-term potentiation (LPT).

It was also observed that caffeine and the stress hormone corticosterone boost the activity of flow.

"We are the first to show that long-term potentiation depends on the frequency and persistency of incoming sensory signals in the hippocampus," Dr Matthias Eder, junior scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, said.

However, further investigation is needed to determine how the findings could affect the understanding of dementia.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.