The “secret code” the brain uses to create a key type of memory has finally been cracked.
This type of memory, called working memory, is what allows people to temporarily hold on to and manipulate information for short periods of time. You use working memory, for example, when you look up a phone number and then briefly remember the sequence of digits in order to dial, or when you ask a friend for directions to a restaurant and then keep track of the turns as you drive there. For decades, scientists have wondered how and where the brain encodes transient memories.
The new work represents a “fundamental step forward” in the study of working memory, Derek Nee, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Florida State University, told Live Science in an email.
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