Friday, May 11, 2012
Scientists Identify Neurotranmitters That Lead to "Forgetting"
To better understand the mechanisms for forgetting, Davis and his colleagues studied Drosophila or fruit flies, a key model for studying memory that has been found to be highly applicable to humans. The flies were put in situations where they learned that certain smells were associated with either a positive reinforcement like food or a negative one, such as a mild electric shock. The scientists then observed changes in the flies' brains as they remembered or forgot the new information. The results showed that a small subset of dopamine neurons actively regulate the acquisition of memories and the forgetting of these memories after learning, using a pair of dopamine receptors in the brain. more