Memory and the Precise Timing of Signals in the Brain

A new paper describes the creation and maintenance of functional brain cell (neuron) networks (average size 41 neurons) within a simulated network of 1000 neurons that could be a mechanism underlying working memory.

The focus is on the precise timing of signals in the brain and their importance in forming functional networks with properties observed in recordings from brain areas involved in working memory. One of the attractive properties of these networks is that a large number of them can form over overlapping sets of neurons providing a way to pack a lot of memories into a relatively small set of brain cells.

The paper, by Szatmary and Izhikevich, is titled “Spike-Timing Theory of Working Memory” was published in the August 2010 issue of PLOS Computational Biology.