New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: A new study led by the University of Bristol has unravelled how memories can be so distinct and long-lasting without getting muddled up. The findings, published in the Nature Communications, also provides new insights into how humans form expectations and make predictions about the future.

Memories are formed when the connections between neighbouring nerve cells become stronger. The formation of these memories has been linked to the changes in the connection that excite nerve cells in the hippocampus — the part that is known to play a crucial role in the formation of memory, the study explained, as quoted in a report by news agency ANI.

The connections that excite nerve cells must be balanced with inhibitory connections. The role of changes to inhibitory connection strength had not previously been considered and now the researchers found that just like excitatory connections, inhibitory connections between nerve cells can similarly be strengthened.

Working with computational neuroscientists at Imperial College London, the researchers found that this inhibitory learning enables the hippocampus to stabilise changes to excitatory connection strength, which prevents interfering information from disrupting memories.

 "We were all really excited when we discovered these two types of inhibitory neurons could alter their connections and partake in learning. It provides an explanation for what we all know to be true; that memories do not disappear as soon as we encounter a new experience. These new findings will help us understand why that is,” First author Dr Matt Udakis, Research Associate at the School of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience, said, as quoted in a report by ANI.

"The computer modelling gave us important new insight into how inhibitory learning enables memories to be stable over time and not be susceptible to interference. That's really important as it has previously been unclear how to separate memories can remain precise and robust," added Udakis.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja