Presentation on theme: " Memories are stored throughout our brains, and linked together through neural pathways. Different brain areas are involved in different memory types."— Presentation transcript:
Memories are stored throughout our brains, and linked together through neural pathways. Different brain areas are involved in different memory types and stages.
Eric Kandel – Austrian Psychiatrist Identified changes in the structure & function of neurons in the brain when learning (a new memory) occurs.
Worked with large seaweed eating slugs called Aplysia californica.
It has a relatively simple nervous system – only 20,000 neurons, compared to trillions in humans. The neurons can be seen by the naked eye, so can be observed, stimulated or removed.
Kandel used a thin electrode to stimulate the siphon (like a tail). This caused the siphon to contract. Read the second column on Pgs 335 of your text and summarise Kandel’s experiment.
Kandel observed that, after learning, the slugs neurons functioned differently More neurotransmitter produced & released More dendrites developed and made more connections with other neurons Synaptic connections form – neurotransmitter passes more easily next time this pathway is used These changes are collectively called: LONG-TERM POTENTIATION
With Short-Term memory storage, there is only an increase in the release of the neurotransmitter With Long-Term memory storage, all the 3 changes mentioned on the previous slide occur. Each time the memory is recalled, the communication links in the memory circuit are strengthened. Difficult to generalise to humans, but similar changes have been found in fish, chicks and mammals.
Thalamus Amygdala The hippocampus is just above each ear and 4cm straight into the brain, 3.5 cm long. Shaped like a sea-horse??, wrapped around the thalamus, extending into the temporal lobes.
The hippocampus and the medial temporal lobe are involved in the formation of new long-term memories (not storage) The Hippocampus is specifically involved in: - Deciding if the info received by the sense is worth remembering - Mapping & organising memories before sending them to other parts of the brain for storage – maybe several sections at once. - Seems to provide a cross referencing system for memories – draws all the different aspects of a memory from parts of the brain.
Important in recalling spatial relationships in the world around us. (Damage results in disorientation & impaired ability to navigate in familiar surroundings). Helps process sense of smell Left hippocampus – verbal memory Eg word lists & digit span Right hippocampus – spatial & visual memory Eg facial recognition, visual directions Mainly involved in declarative memories (about facts or events) – not procedural (how to do things)
Case Study – HM (Henry Molaison) - Severe epileptic – medial temporal lobes removed to try to stop seizures - Most areas of functioning unaffected – except memory - He couldn't remember things he experienced after surgery; couldn’t form new memories of personal events or general knowledge - ST memory worked as long as he didn’t get distracted