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August 26, 2016
Q. It's the stuff of science fiction: Scientists conduct brain operations that implant a memory of something that never happened. What's the true story here?
A. The actors were a team at the French National Center for Scientific Research, the brains those of five mice, reports Teal Burrell in Discover magazine. First, the researchers monitored the brain of each mouse as it wandered in a large, open arena, noting the “place cells” that lit up. Later, when the mouse slept, “its place cells lit up again as the brain replayed the memory of roaming the chamber. (It's believed the sleeping brain rehashes waking experiences to create long-term memories.)”
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