A recent study has shown a connection between neural cells known as astrocytes and our brain’s ability to remember what we see. When we concentrate on visual input, the brain releases a chemical that stimulates astrocytes. In mice, memories of visual patterns were stronger when their brains released this chemical. Mice whose astrocyte cells were disabled responded poorly, suggesting a relationship between astrocytes and visual memory.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

RELATED LINKS

Nucleus basalis-enabled stimulus-specific plasticity in the visual cortex is mediated by astrocytes
pnas.org/content/early/2012/09/20/1206557109.full.pdf

MIT: The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
picower.mit.edu

Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/martinos/flashHome.php

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