Scientists have discovered how the smell becomes a memory

Scientists have discovered how the smell becomes a memory

Smell can evoke memories of events many years ago and involved several areas of the brain, found researchers from Germany.

Neuroscientists have long known that short-term memory for odors is responsible piriforme cortex — the part of a structure called the olfactory brain. However, about the long-term memory for odours, to date, was not known. Scientists from Ruhr University in Germany, the first to show that this process involves several areas of the brain.

They conducted a study on rats, affecting the brain by electrical impulses of different frequencies and intensities to simulate the process of remembering olfactory sensations. The same way we form long-term memories in the hippocampus. However piriformes bark that didn’t work in any of the variants of standard protocols.

And scientists have suggested that to start the process piriformes the bark of the desired signal from higher brain structures, such a structure may be the orbitofrontal cortex responsible for processing sensory stimuli.

Neuroscientists have tried to encourage her and were able to get rats long-term memories of smells.

The formation of memories is, in fact, changes in synapses, the emergence of stable connections between nerve cells. The appearance of such links and you can judge whether long-term memories in animals.

The authors note that in this way the formation of memories about the smell differs from similar processes associated with other senses — vision, hearing, and touch. They suggest that this complicated system can protect the mind from overload, background noise, because the sense of smell is directly connected we are breathing and we constantly perceive odors, like it or not.