Brain signals may determine your memory performance

London, Sep 26 (IANS): Ever wondered why you are less able to remember things than your peers? Researchers have now discovered certain brain signals that may explain the difference in people’s memory performance.

While it is well known that certain brain regions play a crucial role in memory processes, so far it has not been clear whether these regions exhibit different activities when it comes to storing information in people with better or worse memory performance.

To understand, the team at the University of Basel in Switzerland conducted imaging studies on memory consisting of 1,500 participants between the ages of 18 and 35.

Participants were asked to look at and memorise a total of 72 images. During the process, the researchers recorded the subjects' brain activity using MRI and then asked them to recall as many of the images as possible. The researchers found that there were considerable differences in memory performance among general populations of participants.

In certain brain regions including the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is associated primarily with memory, the researchers found a direct association between brain activity during the memorisation process and subsequent memory performance.

Individuals with a better memory showed a stronger activation of these brain areas, the team said in the paper, published in the journal Nature Communications.

While no such association was found for other memory-relevant brain areas in the occipital cortex, they were equally active in individuals with all levels of memory performance.

"The findings help us to better understand how differences in memory performance occur between one individual and another," said Dr Leonie Geissmann, from the varsity.

"However, the brain signals of a single individual do not allow for any conclusions to be drawn about their memory performance," Geissmann added.



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