Unlocking the mysteries of the brain

How does our brain store information?

Seeking an answer, researchers at CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital and Université de Montréal have made a major discovery in understanding the mechanisms underlying learning and memory formation.

The results of their study are presented in Nature Communications.

Led by Professor Roberto Araya, the team studied the function and morphological transformation of dendritic spines, tiny protrusions located on the branches of neurons, during synaptic plasticity, thought to be the underlying mechanism for learning and memory.

“We are very excited because this is the first time that the rules of synaptic plasticity, a process directly related to memory formation in the brain, have been discovered in a way that allows us to better understand plasticity and ultimately how memories are formed when neurons of the cerebral neocortex receive single and/or multiple streams of sensory information” said Professor Araya.