Health Watch - The Brain: Memory

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The brain is the control center of the body, and this week on Health Watch we’ll talk about some research into how the brain works. Have you ever wondered how you remember important things, such as where you parked your car today, over things that are no longer important, such as where you parked your car yesterday?

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that the neurotransmitter dopamine causes brain cells to be more flexible and changes brain-cell circuitry so the brain processes important information in a different way from mundane information. Dr. Robert Greene, a UT Southwestern psychiatrist, says it’s possible that this knowledge may one day lead to ways to not only improve learning, but also help people learn to forget frightening emotional memories such as those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Researchers plan more investigation into how manipulating dopamine affects learning.

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April 2009

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