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.


Nucleus basalis-enabled stimulus-specific plasticity in the visual cortex is mediated by astrocytes

MIT: The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory

Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

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