The Usefulness of a Memory Guides Where the Brain Saves It

In the early 1950s, scientists began to understand the multistage process of memory formation through their studies of a patient known as H.M., who had his hippocampus removed to treat seizures. Although H.M. retained his childhood memories and other details of his life, he lost the ability to create new long-term memories. This discovery led scientists to believe that memories formed in the hippocampus and then transferred to the neocortex. However, recent research using artificial neural networks has shown that some memories remain dependent on the hippocampus in the long term. These findings provide new insights into how memories are formed and stored in the brain. The study also highlights the fallibility of human memory and raises questions about the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Additionally, the research demonstrates the importance of evaluating memories to make reliable predictions, as too much noisy or unreliable information can hinder learning.

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