A newly identified learning and memory area in the human brain

ARTICLE: 'A new area in the human brain associated with learning and memory: immunohistochemical and functional MRI analysis'

AUTHORS: Si Yun Shu, Yong Ming Wu, Xin Min Bao, Zhi Bo Wen, Fan Heng Huang, Sheng, Xiu Li, Qiu Zhen Fu, Qun Ning

Institute for Neuroscience of the First Military Medical University, Zhu-Jiang Hospital, Guangzhou, China; Department of Radiology of Zhu-Jiang Hospital, Guangzhou, China

Learning and memory function is one of the most important and fundamental mental processes of the brain, and is intensively studied in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry. Dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, is a serious problem to society and family. The structures associated with learning and memory have been widely studied for hundred years. The idea of learning and memory diffusely stored in the brain dominated the field of neuroscience in the early half of the last century. Since Scoville's report in 1957 of a persistent impairment of recent memory caused by bilateral medial temporal lobe resection in a patient, neuroscientists established the concept that different brain structures play different roles in learning and memory. Recently, several structures of the brain, e.g. hippocampus, basal nucleus of Meynert and prefrontal cortex, were thought to contribute to learning and memory in succession, but by working separately.

The marginal division (MrD) is a newly identified pan-shaped structure consisting of spindle-shaped neurons in the mammalian brains. The authors verified that the MrD contributes to learning and memory function of the brain in animals and human beings. It proved to be a key linking area among the memory-related structures in the brain. Therefore, the exposure of the structure and function of the MrD is significant for further investigating the mechanism of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease.


Contact: Aimee Midei
Molecular Psychiatry

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