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How are scents retained in your memory?

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Structure of brain can help find the causes behind epilepsy.
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  • A brain area is responsible for creating memories from smells
  • Piriform cortex which is a part of the olfactory brain helps distinguish smell

London, Dec 24, 2017: Ever wondered how you retain memories of your favourite dish cooked by your mother or your partner’s scent?

Scientists have found that a brain area is responsible for creating memories from smells as well as retaining those memories even years later.

The study showed that “the piriform cortex” — a part of the olfactory brain, that distinguishes smells — is involved in the process of saving those memories.

“It is known that the piriform cortex is able to temporarily store olfactory memories. We wanted to know, if that applies to long-term memories as well,” said Christina Strauch from the Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum in Germany.

In the study, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, the scientists wondered whether the piriform cortex needs to be instructed to create a long-term memory.

They then stimulated a higher brain area called the orbitofrontal cortex, which is responsible for the discrimination of sensory experiences. This time the stimulation of the brain area generated the desired change in the piriform cortex.

“Our study shows that the piriform cortex is indeed able to serve as an archive for long-term memories. But it needs instruction from the orbitofrontal cortex — a higher brain area — indicating that an event is to be stored as a long-term memory,” Strauch added. (IANS)

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Study Shows, Memory Loss in Old Age is Not Triggered by Sexual Intimacy

Getting naughty under the sheets as well as remaining emotionally attached to romantic partners in old age may not be linked to decline in memory skills, finds a study.

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Participants completed an episodic memory task and a questionnaire where they reported the frequency of intimate activities such as kissing, sexual touching and intercourse.
Old Couple. pixabay

Getting naughty under the sheets as well as remaining emotionally attached to romantic partners in old age may not be linked to declining in memory skills, finds a study.

Although lifestyle factors, level of education, smoking and drinking habits and physical activity all play a role in the rate and extent of the age-related cognitive decline, the study now shows that there is no link between sexual activity and rate of cognitive decline.

 

Participants completed an episodic memory task and a questionnaire where they reported the frequency of intimate activities such as kissing, sexual touching and intercourse.v
representational image. pixabay

 

“Decline in memory performance over time was unrelated to sexual activity or emotional closeness during partnered sexual activity,” said Mark Allen of the University of Wollongong in Australia.

For the study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, the team used data from more than 6,000 adults aged 50 and over.

Participants completed an episodic memory task and a questionnaire where they reported the frequency of intimate activities such as kissing, sexual touching, and intercourse.

Allen found an overall decline in all participants’ score on the memory test over time.

Further, the study builds on previous experimental work that showed sexual activity enhances elderly rodents’ ability to recognize objects and, therefore, ultimately their episodic memory workings and overall brain health.

Also Read: Older Employees Are More Likely to Get Affected by Unfair Treatment at Workplace

It stimulated the growth of neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is activated when episodic and spatial memory tasks are performed. (IANS)

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