Thursday, January 29, 2009

Larry Squire '63 on NPR: Memory, the Hippocampus and Alzheimer's

Oberlin alumnus Larry R. Squire, class of 1963, and Principal Investigator of the Memory Research Laboratory (University of California, San Diego and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Diego) explained recent findings on NPR's Morning Edition today. Dr. Squire's study, co-published with Christine N. Smith, is published in the newest issue of Journal of Neuroscience:
From the Morning Edition story:

"What we found was that the hippocampus was most active when subjects were recalling memories about new events that occurred just a year or two earlier," Squire says. "The hippocampus became less active as subjects recalled memories that were five years or 10 years old."

As people tried to remember older events, the scientists saw more and more activity on the surface of the brain.

The results suggest that the hippocampus is necessary to form new memories and to retrieve recent memories, says Russell Poldrack, a brain scientist at UCLA. But it plays little or no role once memories are a few years old.

"This is the clearest demonstration yet of what happens as memories get older," Poldrack says. "It's pretty compelling evidence." [more]

Related reading in the library:
The library is grateful to Dr. Squire for his many contributions to the collection, including his most recent monograph co-authored with Eric R. Kandel, Memory: from mind to molecules.

See other books in OBIS authored by Larry Squire.

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