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Friday, July 1, 2016

Antimemories: Experimental Evidence In Test Animals

Antimatter Changed Physics, and the Discovery of Antimemories Could Revolutionise Neuroscience

A new theory suggests that at the same time that a memory is created, an “antimemory” is also spawned. Harriet Dempsey-Jones explains.

Harriet Dempsey-Jones | June 29, 2016

[...] When memories are created and recalled, new and stronger electrical connections are created between neurons in the brain. The memory is represented by this new association between neurons. But a new theory, backed by animal research and mathematical models, suggests that at the same time that a memory is created, an “antimemory” is also spawned – that is, connections between neurons are made that provide the exact opposite pattern of electrical activity to those forming the original memory. Scientists believe that this helps maintain the balance of electrical activity in the brain.

"A mini-brain made at Brown University." Source: "This isn't a live, thinking brain (arguably a good thing for tests), but it's close enough that you could transplant and experiment with cells and expect to get realistic results. The discoverers hope that this will eventually let many labs test treatments and research neurological development, especially the not-so-dedicated outfits that can't justify buying expensive gear to answer a few questions. You could see more medical breakthroughs simply because more scientists would be proving their own theories, rather than leaning on others for help."

<more at; related articles and links: (Researchers believe they've discovered 'anti-memories'. They could work to maintain your brain's delicate electrical balance. March 31, 2016) and (Inhibitory and excitatory spike-timing-dependent plasticity in the auditory cortex. J.A. D'amour and R.C. Froemke. Neuron. 2015 Apr 22;86(2):514-28. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.014. Epub 2015 Apr 2. [Abstract: Synapses are plastic and can be modified by changes in spike timing. Whereas most studies of long-term synaptic plasticity focus on excitation, inhibitory plasticity may be critical for controlling information processing, memory storage, and overall excitability in neural circuits. Here we examine spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) of inhibitory synapses onto layer 5 neurons in slices of mouse auditory cortex, together with concomitant STDP of excitatory synapses. Pairing pre- and postsynaptic spikes potentiated inhibitory inputs irrespective of precise temporal order within ∼10 ms. This was in contrast to excitatory inputs, which displayed an asymmetrical STDP time window. These combined synaptic modifications both required NMDA receptor activation and adjusted the excitatory-inhibitory ratio of events paired with postsynaptic spiking. Finally, subthreshold events became suprathreshold, and the time window between excitation and inhibition became more precise. These findings demonstrate that cortical inhibitory plasticity requires interactions with co-activated excitatory synapses to properly regulate excitatory-inhibitory balance.])>

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