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Social Memory Is Linked To Behaviour In A Big Way.

Social Memory Is Linked To Behaviour In A Big Way.

Social Memory Is Linked To Behaviour In A Big Way.

Social memory influences behaviour; researchers reveal the scientific secret behind memories.

Amrita Binoy, a Malayalee girl, and her team have set the banner of success in Singapore with an invention that guides the treatment of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and behavioural disorders. Amrita Binoy and her team have discovered the brain-chemical system that controls interaction with society by recording social behaviours and experiences as memories.

How can the group’s findings, including those of Amrita Binoy, regarding the hippocampal CA2 be simply stated?

Our study describes an innovative data analysis system with the help of a neurotransmitter called ‘acetylcholine’ for CA2 memory in the brain region. In response to shifting external environments and behavioural patterns, the nerve cells in our brain release chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters play an essential role in regulating the responses of neurons that shape memory and behaviour. The ‘CA2’ part of the brain that is the subject of research is the critical part of the brain responsible for memory formation. Our study was about how this small area inside the brain forms memories.

One fantastic thing about this region is that neurons in this region exhibit multifaceted memory characteristics compared to other areas of the brain. In particular, the phenomenon known as synaptic plasticity is less common in CA2 neurons than in other regions. Synapses transmit electrical signals from one nerve cell to another via neurotransmitters. Synaptic plasticity is when the connection between neurons in response to stimuli is strengthened or weakened, giving them the ability to create memories.

We found that stimulation of receptors that bind to the chemical acetylcholine caused a decrease in the synaptic responses of CA2 neurons. But this was later found to lead to a higher synaptic response, similar to neuronal memory. Such modifications to the synaptic laws of analysis based on the history of neurons’ activity are called ‘metaplasticity’. These findings enhance our knowledge of the fundamental processes that govern memory formation in the CA2 region. Acetylcholine overflows into the brain’s hippocampus in response to specific behavioural conditions during waking and sleeping; this can cause plasticity in the CA2 neurons, a subregion of the hippocampus, and thus form the memories we gain while wandering around in different social environments.

Why has this part gone unnoticed for so long?

The CA2 region is much smaller than the other regions of the hippocampus. Therefore, the researchers did not think that neurons in this region played a significant role in memory formation. Further research focused on the CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus. But since 2000, studies focusing on the CA2 region have begun to attract attention. The main reason for this is the discovery that CA2 neurons record social memory. Also, CA2 neurons had different genes and proteins than CA1 and CA3 subgroups. Scientists then started to look into how specific the activity of CA2 neurons was and how damage to CI2 neurons can happen in conditions like schizophrenia. Such research is still ongoing in many parts of the world. While CA2 neurons are essential for social memory, CA1 and CA3 neurons are more critical for special memory, episodic memory, and declarative memory.

For example, CA1 and CA3 neurons play an essential role in recording memories of the paths we travelled, memories of facts and information we learned, and events in our lives and when they occurred. But the fantastic thing is that most areas of the hippocampus are interconnected. Therefore, the function of CA1 neurons requires the interaction of CA3 and CA2 neurons.

How do memories occur?

The things we see, hear, and experience in our daily lives stimulate the nerve cells in our bodies. These signals reach the brain’s neurons through electrical interactions between interconnected neurons, and different stimuli are recorded in other neurons as different types of memory. Nerve cells in various brain parts, such as the hippocampus, neocortex, amygdala, cerebellum, basal ganglia, and prefrontal cortex, record multiple memories. When we experience the same things again, the same needle cells that recorded those memories are re-stimulated, and through that, we can remember the same thing again. Synaptic plasticity increases the likelihood of nerve cells being reactivated as memories are renewed, strengthening the memory.

What is social memory? How does it differ from other memories?

When we first meet someone, their memory is recorded in specific nerve cells in our brain. When we meet that person again, that person will not be a stranger. For that reason, the same nerve cells that recorded the memories of that person are reactivated. Thus, our memories while wandering in different social environments are called social memories. Such memories are different from memories of places we went to or facts we learned. Social memory is formed through social interaction. Our memory of a person influences how we perceive and treat them. Therefore, social memory also controls our behaviour.

Knowledge of information analysis processes in the human brain is still minimal. Scientists in different parts of the world are continuing their research. It is hoped that this article will help more people understand neuroscience research and its potential and motivate children who are currently studying to do research.

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