Spanish scientists show memory can be recovered

A new study reveals how to recover memory

Researchers directed by José María Delgado at the Pablo de Olavide University in Sevilla have discovered new aspects relating to how our memories work. Experiments using living animals have shown how memory can be recovered.

In 2006 the research team together with María Dolores Muñoz, a researcher from the the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, demonstrated for the first time how neurons in our memories connect with others and how stored memories increase the potential or intensity of these connections. This is the process called strengthening in the long term which has been known for many years.

The research team showed that this strengthening process was produced whilst learning. However, they also demonstrated that if the strengthening process is induced in an experimental way it affects the natural or physiological processes which means it is impossible to learn. The study explained the effect of epileptic attacks and electric shock therapy.

These discoveries were chosen by the magazine Science to be among the 10 most important advances in 2006.

In the new study which has been published in the magazine Journal of Neuroscience, the same research team have gone one step further and have demonstrated that once the inducement of the process of strengthening is stopped the animals in the study were able to learn once again and also remember what they had learnt previously.