Scientists thank rats for the memories

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TREATMENT OF old-age memory loss could be revolutionised by the findings of a study mapping a principal memory circuit of the brain.

The study found that a memory is stored as an organised electrical circuit of nerve cells in the dorsal hippocampus.

Scientists from Wake Forest University in North Carolina monitored electrical activity in the nerve cells of rats' brains, using a set of micro-electrodes as the animals performed memory tasks, enabling the scientists to record short-term memory formation.

The scientists report in the journal Nature that the technique may lead to a radical reappraisal of how human memories are made.

They found a "distinct separation" of the groups of cells firing during the different phases of a memory task.