Brain and Visual Memory

Topics: Brain, Memory, Annalee Newitz Pages: 1 (399 words) Published: December 19, 2012
A Drug That Could Give You Perfect Visual Memory
Imagine if you could look at something once and remember it forever. You would never have to ask for directions again. Now a group of scientists has separate a protein that super boosts your ability to remember what you see. A group of Spanish researchers reported in Science that they may have discovered a substance that could become the ultimate memory-booster. The group was studying a region of the visual cortex in the brain that not a lot of people understood. They found that if they increased production of a protein called RGS-14 (see picture) in that area of the visual cortex in mice, it had an extreme affect on the animals' ability to remember objects they had seen. Mice with the RGS-14 boost could remember objects they had seen for up to two months. Usually the same mice would only be able to remember these objects for about an hour. The researchers concluded that this region of the visual cortex, known as layer six of region V2, is responsible for creating visual memories. When the region is removed, mice can no longer remember any object they see. If this protein boosts visual memory in humans, that would cause a huge change in the way humans memory works. In their paper, the researchers say that it could be used as a memory-enhancer. What's interesting about this is the fact that this protein only works on visual memory. So it would be perfect for mapping. It would also be useful for engineers and architects who need to remember a lot of visual images. And it would also be a great drug for detectives and spies. I believe that it could also be a way to get photographic memory. For example, if I look at a page of text will I remember the words perfectly? Or will I simply remember how the page looked? I hope it would be that I remember the words on the page perfectly because then people could write a speech once and remember it. It would also be a lot easier to study for tests and not have to worry about...
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