Vision and memories: how the brain actually works

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Forgetfulness and distraction are quite common features in older people that accompany their cognitive activity. It is no secret that the older a person becomes, the more neurodegenerative processes occur in his brain and the less neuroplasticity of the brain. However, today, specialists from the Baycrest Rothman research institute presented the results of their study, devoted to examining how the process of forming memories in older people occurs as a result of visual examination of any objects – the article has already been published in the scientific journal Neuropsychologia.

Neuroscientists considered a unique phenomenon that is noticeable in older people – this phenomenon is that their memories of objects and practical experience are formed in a way different from younger people. After conducting several tests with the participation of 21 elderly people, they found that for most of them the activity of the hippocampus – the main part of the brain that forms the memories – is at a fairly low level, even due to the large number of times working with a particular object.

In other words, their formation of memories is not so much connected with the direct empirical experience of observation, as it does in younger people, but according to a different algorithm. Scientists suggest that somewhere in the path between visual study of an object and the formation of memories of it, the hippocampus is disturbed in the brain of older people.

As a result, their memories are formed to a greater extent from what they see at the immediate moment of studying an object or phenomenon, and not from what logical conclusion they form some time after what they see. Thus, specialists strive to find a problem at the intersection of visual perception and the formation of memories in order to find a way to deal even more effectively with the growing symptoms of various neurodegenerative syndromes, aggravated by old age.

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