Researchers have identified more than 100 genes important for memory in people. The study is the first to identify correlations between gene data and brain activity during memory processing, providing a new window into human memory.
After conducting a research about the role of these genes in specific aspects of memory function and dysfunction, Evelina Fedorenko of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital announced that “Genes shape the anatomy and functional organization of the brain, and these structural and functional characteristics of the brain give rise to the observable behaviors”.
“Combining cognitive neuroscience with genetics can involve several different approaches”, Fedorenko says. Researchers, for example, can search for neural differences in individuals with developmental disorders that are associated with certain genetic variants and compare them to a control group. Others may compare brain anatomy and function in identical versus fraternal twins. While yet other researchers may look for patterns of gene expression across the cortex and relate the observed patterns to other data on brain architecture.
The memory genes also overlap with several genes associated with autism, which means scientists have identified a window into the molecular pathways important for normal memory function that are at risk from a genetic perspective in autism. The new study will inform future work, specifically identifying gene targets for further experimentation in animal models of memory function.
Full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170327083135.htm