Decoding hidden dreams | MIT News

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August 31, 2016

Neuroscientists decrypt the sleeping brain to reveal hidden memories.

by Joshua Sariñana 
NIT News, August 30, 2016

"Researchers in the laboratory of MIT Professor Matthew Wilson at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory study how activity of a brain region called the hippocampus — which is critical for spatial memories and memories of specific events — relates to memory formation and problem solving. In a new paper released today in the journal Scientific Reports, Wilson and his team members describe a new analytical tool they created that turns older models of memory formation on their head."


“Developing unbiased statistical tools to uncover the representation of hippocampal neuronal activity would improve our understanding of the mechanism of memory formation, and in general, information processing during sleep” says Zhe Chen, the study's lead author and former member of the Center for Brains and Minds and Machines at MIT, currently an assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine. “Another way to put it is that that we’re providing a readout of the rat’s dream as it relates to memory formation and later behavioral measures.”


Read Nature | Scientific Reports paper:

Uncovering representations of sleep-associated hippocampal ensemble spike activity
Zhe Chen, Andres D. Grosmark, Hector Penagos & Matthew A. Wilson
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 32193 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep32193; Published online: 30 August 2016