Paging Dr. Mierzwiak

Father Scott

While Pax spends his time fretting over robots and zombies (and soon, I’m sure, robozombies), I’m much more concerned by this developing scientific story.

Scientists are discovering more and more easily where and how we store memories, and can even predict where they go. Check it:

Researchers tracked brain activity related to “spatial memory” as volunteers moved about inside a virtual reality setup. Their new study challenges previous scientific thinking by showing that memories are recorded in regular patterns.

“Surprisingly, just by looking at the brain data we could predict exactly where they were in the virtual reality environment,” said Eleanor Maguire, a neuroscientist at the University College London in the U.K. “In other words, we could ‘read’ their spatial memories.”

Who do they think they are: Nate Silver?

Whatever, this can’t be right, remember this?

Earlier studies with rats had also focused on the hippocampus and measured activity at the level of dozens of neurons at most. But that research had suggested that the brain did not record memory in any sort of regular pattern.

Foolproof. Rats don’t lie, they’re too busy teaching turtles martial arts.

“By looking at activity over tens of thousands of neurons, we can see that there must be a functional structure – a pattern – to how these memories are encoded,” Maguire said. “Otherwise, our experiment simply would not have been possible to do.”

Guess they do. Does that mean I’m soon going to be running through my virtual life with a sneaky-hot Kate Winslet?

“Understanding how we as humans record our memories is critical to helping us learn how information is processed in the hippocampus and how our memories are eroded by diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” added Demis Hassabis.

Oh. There’s a point to all this. Well, carry on then.

But this does not mean you can start mapping my thoughts about Fallen Angel’s mom. Those are mine.



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4 responses to “Paging Dr. Mierzwiak

  1. My hippocampus lives in the river by the hypothalamus reeds.

  2. I bet at the zoo the animals all wish they could live off-hippocampus.

  3. Whose joke was worse, mine or yours?

  4. Yours was better and worse. It should marry itself and then get a divorce.

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