You are viewing AANS Neurosurgeon Volume 26, Number 1, 2017. View our current issue, Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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To Forget or to Remember? Memory Depends on Subtle Brain Signals, Scientists Find

The fragrance of hot pumpkin pie can bring back pleasant memories of holidays past, while the scent of an antiseptic hospital room may cause a shudder. The power of odors to activate memories both pleasing and aversive exists in many animals, from humans to the humble fruit fly.

Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) detailed how the intricate biochemical mechanism for storing scent-associated memories differs slightly from a less-understood mechanism for erasing unnecessary memories.  

Understanding how brains actively erase memories may open new understanding of memory loss and aging, and open the possibility of new treatments for neurodegenerative disease.

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