Tag Archives: memory

Bacteria can pass on memory to descendants, UCLA-led team discovers

Findings are a major step toward understanding persistent infections that affect people with cystic fibrosis

Led by scientists at UCLA, an international team of researchers has discovered that bacteria have a “memory” that passes sensory knowledge from one generation of cells to the next, all without a central nervous system or any neurons. (more…)

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Wie Krähen Bilder im Kopf behalten

Tierphysiologen der Universität Tübingen identifizieren Gedächtniszellen, mit denen Rabenvögel Gesehenes im Arbeitsgedächtnis speichern – ganz ohne Großhirnrinde

Ein gut funktionierendes Arbeitsgedächtnis für die kurzfristige Speicherung und Verarbeitung von Informationen ist eine wichtige Grundlage der Intelligenz. Ohne Arbeitsgedächtnis als einer Art „geistigen Notizblock“ könnten wir keiner Unterhaltung folgen, Kopfrechnen oder „Memory“ spielen. Im Tierreich sind Rabenvögel bekannt für ihre Schläue, denn sie besitzen ein gut funktionierendes Arbeitsgedächtnis. Doch überraschenderweise hat ihr ansehnlich entwickeltes, aber grundsätzlich anders aufgebautes Endhirn keine Großhirnrinde, die bei uns Menschen und anderen Säugetieren das Arbeitsgedächtnis hervorbringt. Wie gelingt es Rabenvögeln, wichtige Informationen im Gedächtnis zu behalten? (more…)

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Early neural wiring for smell persists

A new study in Science reveals that the fundamental wiring of the olfactory system in mice sets up shortly after birth and then remains stable but adaptable. The research highlights how important early development can be throughout life and provides insights that may be important in devising regenerative medical therapies in the nervous system.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — To accommodate a lifetime of scents and aromas, mammals have hundreds of genes that each produce a different odorant receptor. The complex and diverse olfactory system they build remains adaptable, but a new study in the journal Science shows that the system’s flexibility, or plasticity, has its limits. Working in mice, Brown University scientists found that the fundamental neural wiring map between the nose and the brain becomes established in a critical period of early development and then regenerates the same map thereafter. (more…)

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Teaching a Computer to Play ‘Concentration’ Advances Security, Understanding of the Human Mind

Computer science researchers have programmed a computer to play the game Concentration (also known as Memory). The work could help improve computer security – and improve our understanding of how the human mind works.

The researchers developed a program to get the software system called ACT-R, a computer simulation that attempts to replicate human thought processes, to play Concentration. In the game, multiple matching pairs of cards are placed face down in a random order, and players are asked to flip over two cards, one at a time, to find the matching pairs. If a player flips over two cards that do not match, the cards are placed back face down. The player succeeds by remembering where the matching cards are located. (more…)

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Bittersweet: Bait-Averse Cockroaches Shudder at Sugar

Sugar isn’t always sweet to German cockroaches, especially to the ones that avoid roach baits.

In a study published May 24 in the journal Science, North Carolina State University entomologists show the neural mechanism behind the aversion to glucose, the simple sugar that is a popular ingredient in roach-bait poison. Glucose sets off bitter receptors in roach taste buds, causing roaches to avoid foods that bring on this taste-bud reaction. This aversion has a genetic basis and it eventually spreads to offspring, resulting in increasingly large groups of cockroaches that reject glucose and any baits made with it.

In normal German cockroaches, glucose elicits activity in sugar gustatory receptor neurons, which react when exposed to sugars like glucose and fructose – components of corn syrup, a common roach-bait ingredient. Generally, roaches have a sweet tooth for these sugars. (more…)

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Understanding Angelman syndrome: Study in Mice Yields Angelman Advance

In the journal PLoS Biology, a team of scientists reports experiments showing how the gene defect of Angelman syndrome disrupts neurological processes that may be needed for memory and learning. In tests in mice, the team showed that a novel compound could restore the healthy processes.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In a new study in mice, a scientific collaboration centered at Brown University lays out in unprecedented detail a neurological signaling breakdown in Angelman syndrome, a disorder that affects thousands of children each year, characterized by developmental delay, seizures, and other problems. With the new understanding, the team demonstrated how a synthesized, peptide-like compound called CN2097 works to restore neural functions impaired by the disease. (more…)

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