Neuroscientists created a virtual reality maze for mice to determine how long-term memories are stored in the brain. The mice wore headpieces that tracked brain activity while navigating virtual mazes that included incentives and deterrents along the route. The mice returned to the maze for several days, which is enough time to form long-term memories. Researchers were surprised to see that mices’ memories went from the hippocampus to the anterior thalamus, which is a part of the brain that hasn’t previously been tied to memory. The study indicates that the anterior thalamus may be the missing piece of the puzzle neuroscientists have been searching for when it comes to converting short-term memories into long-term memories. Researchers hope to bring the study to humans next to test out their findings.
Image via CNN / Andrea Terceros
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