Researchers tie scent to long term memory - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Researchers tie scent to long term memory

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- A certain smell, like warm apple pie, can bring back a vivid memory like baking at grandma's house.

A new Duke University study shows the part of the brain that processes smell is linked to forming longterm memories.  Researchers were able to create memories in the minds of sleeping mice by stimulating a release of a chemical the body produces during strong emotional events while putting an odor under the nose. 

By watching the neurons, they could tell a memory had formed.  The next day the researchers found the mice changed their behavior when they were exposed to the same scent, showing they remembered the smell from when they were asleep.

Online Producer: Maria Magner

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