Study Uncovers How Practice Shapes New Memory Pathways in the Brain
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Study Uncovers How Practice Shapes New Memory Pathways in the Brain


Dr. Arash Bellafard, project scientist at University of California – Los Angeles Health Sciences or UCLA recently published a study on repetitive practice in the journal Nature in collaboration with Dr. Alipasha Vaziri’s group from Rockefeller University. The study revealed how effective repetitive practice is for improving skills along with significant changes in memory pathways. The findings also gave a clear idea about how the brain stores and processes information, also known as working memory and how it can be improved through training.

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The study was done on mice. The researchers gave them tasks to identify and recall a sequence of odours for almost over two weeks. The neural activity in the mice was assessed and analysed by the researchers while they practised the task. They used a novel, custom-built microscope with the capacity of picturising cellular activity in up to 73,000 neurons at the same time throughout the cortex.

According to the study findings, as the mice repeated the task, a transformation occurred in the working memory circuits that are located in the secondary motor cortex. Corresponding author and UCLA Health neurologist, Dr. Peyman Golshani wrote when the mice were learning the task for the first time, the representations of memory were unstable. After practising the task repeatedly, the memory patterns solidified or “crystalized”

Golshani also added, “If one imagines that each neuron in the brain is sounding a different note, the melody that the brain is generating when it is doing the task was changing from day to day, but then became more and more refined and similar as animals kept practising the task. This insight not only advances our understanding of learning and memory but also has implications for addressing memory-related disorders”. This study provides a clear idea about why performance becomes automatic and accurate after repetitive practice

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References +

The crystallization of memory: Study reveals how practice forms new memory pathways in the brain. (2024, May 24). ScienceDaily.

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