No, don’t forget everything we know about memory

Evidence into Practice

With a renewed interest in cognitive science within teaching, are we in risk of “conflating hypothetical models with proven neuroscience since accepted facts can quickly become ‘neuro-myths’ when new research contradicts popular theories” as Ellie Mulcahy warns in “Forgetting everything we know about memory”, her recent blog post for LKMco?

As evidence for this concern, she relates a new piece of neuroscientific research examining the formation of memory engrams in genetically-modified mice. There’s two things particularly interesting about this study: firstly, the technique they developed to activate groups of neurons using light signals; second, that their study examining engram formation in the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex appears to challenge a fairly long-standing neurological theory called the  ‘Multiple Trace model’. In essence, neuroscientists thought that for engrams to be formed in the pre-frontal cortex, multiple retrievals of that engram were required from the hippocampus. This new study (though yet to be replicated)…

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