It’s known that when you recall a memory your brain is actually rewriting the entire memory all over again and not fetching it from some kind of memory “storage”, but how do scientists actually discover that or come to such a conclusion?

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It’s known that when you recall a memory your brain is actually rewriting the entire memory all over again and not fetching it from some kind of memory “storage”, but how do scientists actually discover that or come to such a conclusion?

In: Biology
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You can perform studies with people where you ask them to recall events of which you have video recordings. When you press them to remember details or elaborate on something, they’ll often fill in the blanks, and not always with correct information. Once “recalled” they’ll remember the fake memory more vividly.

There are multiple ways of observing this : including multiple types of imagery and animal models.

For instance you can use Functional Magnetic Resonnance Imagery (fMRI) to see in real time blood flow to different parts of the brain, indicating brain activity. There are techniques to assess the activity of specific neurons of groups of neurons and their activity is monitored while the subject is tasked to recall a memory.

There are also experiments where you can use drugs to affect recalling and rewriting of memories in humans and animals, and draw conclusions from there.