UCI News

Memories exist even when forgotten, study suggests

A woman looks familiar, but you can't remember her name or where you met her. New research by UC Irvine…

September 11, 2009

A woman looks familiar, but you can’t remember her name or where you met her. New research by UC Irvine neuroscientists suggests the memory exists – you simply can’t retrieve it. Using advanced brain imaging techniques, the scientists discovered that a person’s brain activity while remembering an event is very similar to when it was first experienced, even if specifics can’t be recalled. “If the details are still there, hopefully we can find a way to access them,” says Jeff Johnson (pictured), postdoctoral researcher at UCI’s Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory and lead author of the study, appearing Sept. 10 in the journal Neuron.