Permanent Memory Is Stored With The Help Of Synchronous Neuron Oscillations

First Posted: Jan 04, 2017 03:05 AM EST

Memory consolidation, the process involved in the generation of permanent memory in the brain was, revealed by a group of scientists from Austria. They carried out experiments to study synchronous neuron oscillations in mice.

The scientists form the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) successfully identified the underlying mechanism of generation and stabilization of rhythmic brain waves. They found out that memory consolidation relies on synaptic inhibition and the Sharp Wave Ripples (SWRs), which are the most important brain waves originating from the hippocampus region of the brain, according to Deccan Chronicle.

All the related studies were made on the brain of live mice models. Peter Jonas, professor aat IST Austria and contributor in the study, said, "As our experiments provide information both about the phase and the location of the underlying conductance, we were able to show that precisely timed synaptic inhibition is the current generator for sharp wave ripples" and that the results obtained "shed light on the mechanisms underlying this high-frequency network oscillation."

The experiments were based on the principle that synchronous neuron oscillations are associated with significant amount of electrical activity, which can be easily measured by monitoring the field potential. Furthermore, SWRs are considered as the most synchronous neuron oscillations, which play an important role in making permanent memory in the brain.

The researchers also studied whether the ripples are an outcome of excitation or inhibition temporal modulation of excitation formed at the synapse, the interlinks between the neurons.

The results suggested that both excitatory and inhibitory modulations cause an increase in SWRs, but synaptic inhibition was found more dominant during SWRs' generation. Furthermore, the researchers also proposed a brain model, containing the two specific regions of the hippocampus, namely, CA1 and CA3. They sated that a combination of excitation in the CA3 region and inhibition in the CA1 region is, together, responsible for the generation of the SWRs.

Jian Gan, co-researcher in the project, said that, "In our ripple model, inhibition ensures the precise timing of neuronal firing. This could be critically important for preplay or replay of neuronal activity sequences, and the consolidation of memory. Inhibition may be the crucial player to make memories permanent."

The study results were highly helpful in understanding the brain functions behind the making of a permanent memory in the brain and understanding the turn of events involved with synchronous neuron oscillations.

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