MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons

Sebastian Anthony, Extreme Tech, Oct 21, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is reported with all the breathless urgency of an MIT press release announcing something discovered for the first time, but though it's a significant finding it restates what others have been saying for a long time (and just for fun, the headline also gets it wrong). Here's what is said, exactly: "By triggering a small cluster of neurons, the researchers were able to force the subject to recall a specific memory. By removing these neurons, the subject would lose that memory" (note that a "cluster" is not an "individual neuron". And note that they have shown that these neurons are necessary for a specific memory (for that particular brain), not that they are sufficient. But yes: "we finally have proof that memories (engrams, in neuropsychology speak) are physical rather than conceptual."

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