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大脑记忆确实是“分裂”的(双语)

2006-02-10 00:00程瑶,CRI

Your Thoughts Really Are Scattered, Study Shows

    Scientists have long suspected that the brain stores the memory of an event in more than one place. A new study provides solid evidence for this scattered record-keeping.

    The research, on rats, is thought to apply to the human mind as well.

    “It is the first time we have found this fragmentation in the brain of what we would think of as a single experience," said James McGaugh, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Irvine.

    "For example, different aspects of an experience, such as a car accident, would be processed by different parts of the brain," McGaugh said. "The experience is fragmented in our brain, even though we think of it as one event.“

    Each rat was shocked while a drug was injected into three parts of the brain. Two days later their memory of the bad experience was tested, and the drugs revealed what parts of the brain were at work.

    The findings: The hippocampus is involved in processing memory for context; the anterior cingulate cortex deals with retaining memories of unpleasant stimuli; the amygdala consolidates memories more broadly and influences the storage of both contextual and unpleasant information.

    “The more we know about the specialization of memories, the more we can understand how and why the processing of memory can go awry, which in turn can critically inform clinical problems involving a wide range of cognitive deficits," said Thomas Carew, chair of the university's Department of Neurobiology and Behavior.



    长期以来科学家们一直在揣测,人类在进行记忆时是将其分散在大脑的不同区域存储的。最近,美国加州大学的一项研究再一次为这一理论提供了可靠证据。

    据美国“生活科学”网站2月6日报道,这项研究是利用老鼠进行的。科学家们先是在多只老鼠的大脑中注射一种药物,这种注射让每只老鼠都受到了惊吓。两天之后,科学家们开始测试老鼠们关于这次“糟糕”经历的记忆情况,而事先注射的药物正好可以帮助科学家们追踪老鼠大脑中哪些区域参与了记忆过程。测试结果表明,老鼠大脑的海马区参与了记忆内容的处理过程;而前扣带脑皮质主要负责记忆不快乐的刺激;杏仁核存储的记忆则更为广泛,它影响记忆内容的先后顺序以及不快乐刺激的存储。

    科学家们认为,这项在老鼠大脑中进行的实验同样适用于人类大脑。加州大学欧文分校的神经生物学家詹姆斯·迈克高夫说:“像这样在单一经历的记忆中,发现大脑不同部分各自分散工作还是第一次。单一经历的各个方面(比如一次车祸)将会在大脑的不同区域进行处理,并分散地存储在我们大脑中,尽管当我们想起来的时候好像是一件事情。”

    该校神经生物学与行为系系主任托马斯·卡鲁说:“我们对记忆的特殊性知道得越多,就越能够明白记忆处理为什么以及是如何出现偏差的,这将有助于解决各种涉及认知缺陷的临床问题。”

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