Archive for the ‘hippocampus’ Category


This is your brain on art!

May 14, 2009

Have you ever thought about what’s going on in your brain when you look at a painting that you like a lot? While Neuroscientist Dr. Edward Vessel has and he’s done brain imaging experiments to figure it out.

What happens in your brain when you have a pleasurable experience — for example, when you see at a painting that you like very much. Scientists describe this as an aesthetically pleasing experience. They want to know if simply seeing a painting that you enjoy engages an emotional response and triggers the emotion circuits in your brain.
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Neuroscientists decode brain activity important for navigation and spatial memory

April 29, 2009

How many times have you wondered where did I leave my keys?  Activity in your hippocampus and medial temporal lobes encodes the answer.

A new study using high resolution brain imaging has shown that the encoding of memories involves the precise pattern of activity of a very large number of neurons in the human hippocampus.  The hippocampus and surround medial temporal lobes are important parts of the brain for our ability to navigate, form and recall memories, and imagine future experience.  This study found that the pattern of activity can be read like a map to accurately “predict” what environment you are in and your location within the environment.

A group of Neuroscientists at the Welcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London led by Dr. Eleanor Maguire have imaged the pattern of activity in the hippocampus and surrounding medial temporal lobe of human subjects while they navigated around a virtual environment.  The researchers asked if there is a reliable pattern of activity in the hippocampus, like a map, that can be read to predict where the subject is in the environment.   The results of this study are “yes” — there is a functional structure to the pattern of activity in the human hippocampus that encodes your location in an environment.
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