Brain Scientists Make Spectacular Discovery About Learning With Jennifer Aniston

Posted: Jul 1 2015, 1:37pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Brain Scientists Make Spectacular Discovery About Learning with Jennifer Aniston
Photo Credit: Getty Images

What does neurological science has today with Jennifer Aniston? A lot turns out.

Brain scientists in the UK and US have collaborated to make what they call a spectacular discovery. For the first time it has been discovered how memories are formed and new learning takes place.

A collaboration between Dr Matias Ison and Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga at the University of Leicester and Dr Itzhak Fried at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center revealed how a neuron in the brain instantly fired differently when a new memory was formed.

The research group at Leicester and UCLA had previously announced the 'Jennifer Aniston neuron' -the firing of a single neuron for a single image to form a concept. The team has now proved their hypothesis to be true- and has gone further to demonstrate how new memories are formed.

The scientists showed patients images of a person in a context e.g. Jennifer Aniston at the Eiffel Tower, Clint Eastwood in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Halle Berry at the Sidney Opera House or Tiger Woods at the White House. They found that the neuron that formerly fired for a single image e.g. Jennifer Aniston or Halle Berry, now also fired for the associated image too i.e. the Eiffel Tower or Sidney Opera House.

"The remarkable result was that the neurons changed their firing properties at the exact moment the subjects formed the new memories - the neuron initially firing to Jennifer Aniston started firing to the Eiffel Tower at the time the subject started remembering this association," said Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, head of the Centre for Systems Neuroscience at the University of Leicester.

"Moreover, we observed these changes after just a single presentation. This is a radical departure from previous experiments in animals where changes have been observed mainly after long training sessions. This is critical to understanding the neural processes underlying real-life memory formation, as in real life we are not repeatedly exposed to an event in order to remember it - just one exposure is enough."

Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga explains the new "spectacular discovery" about how the brain works in the video below.

The researchers from the University of Leicester and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center have published their research in the peer-reviewed leading journal Neuron

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
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