Have you ever wondered what your brain looks like when it’s forming memories?
The above video, which comes from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, shows off fluorescently tagged molecules as they traverse a mouse brain’s labyrinth of cells, forming new memories. It’s a breakthrough the researchers call a “technological tour de force.”
From the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University:
“…the Einstein researchers stimulated neurons from the mouse’s hippocampus, where memories are made and stored, and then watched fluorescently glowing beta-actin mRNA molecules form in the nuclei of neurons and travel within dendrites, the neuron’s branched projections.
They discovered that mRNA in neurons is regulated through a novel process described as ‘masking’ and ‘unmasking,’ which allows beta-actin protein to be synthesized at specific times and places and in specific amounts.”
According to the Dr. Robert Singer, their observation “fits perfectly with how we think memories are made.” That is, memories form as the result of “stable, long-lasting synaptic connections” between neurons, allowing you to remember all those weird things you’d probably rather not.