How does the brain keep track of similar but distinct memories?  Scientists at the SALK Institute FOR Biological Studies think they have made inroads on answering the question.

Have you ever misplaced your keys and racked your brain to remember where you put them?  When you eventually find them, you can thank your Hippocampus which is responsible for storing and retrieving memories laid down in different environments.

Scientists discovered the location in the brain – the dentate gyrus – that enables us to keep memories of different environments separate.  The findings, which clarifies how the brain stores and distinguishes between memories, may help us understand how neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s rob us of these abilities.

 The findings help clarify the mechanisms that underpin memory formation and explain systems that are disrupted by injury and diseases of the nervous system.