Stage of sleep important for the process of consolidating memories

22-Jun-2020 04:43 by 6 Comments

Stage of sleep important for the process of consolidating memories

Since the populations of neurons connected with each of these sensations are typically activated at the same time, the connections between them can cause all the sensory associations of coffee to be triggered by the smell alone.

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When I ask if you know Alex Ritchie, the answer is immediately obvious to you, and there is no good theory to explain how memory retrieval can happen so quickly.Nor is it simple to monitor the connections of even one neuron: A typical neuron in the cortex receives input from some 10,000 other neurons.Although traveling bursts of voltage can carry signals across the brain quickly, those electrical spikes may not be the only—or even the main—way that information is carried in nervous systems. When you learn a new fact, like someone’s name, there are physical changes in the structure of your brain.Some of the baseline activity may represent the brain restructuring knowledge in the background, simulating future states and events, or manipulating memories.Most things we care about—reminiscences, emotions, drives, plans, and so on—can occur with no external stimulus and no overt output that can be measured.In parts of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), the rate of spiking often correlates with clearly definable external features, like the presence of a color or a face.

In the peripheral nervous system, more spikes indicates more heat, a louder sound, or a stronger muscle contraction.

The great secret of memory is that it mostly encodes the relationships between things more than the details of the things themselves.

When you memorize a melody, you encode the relationships between the notes, not the notes per se, which is why you can easily sing the song in a different key.

But the activity of the brain at rest—its “baseline” activity—may prove to be the most important aspect of our mental lives.

The awake, resting brain uses 20 percent of the body’s total oxygen, even though it makes up only 2 percent of the body’s mass.

­Forward-looking studies are examining other possible information couriers: glial cells (poorly understood brain cells that are 10 times as common as neurons), other kinds of signaling mechanisms between cells (such as newly discovered gases and peptides), and the biochemical cascades that take place inside cells. But we don’t yet comprehend exactly what those changes are, how they are orchestrated across vast seas of synapses and neurons, how they embody knowledge, or how they are read out decades later for retrieval.