How our brain creates a panoramic memory?

If we will ask you to imagine your favorite restaurant, you will surely be able to imagine it right away and will also be able to visualize places nearby like shops, bus stops, car parking areas, etc.

When we look, hear or feel something information travels from our senses to our brain and the information is processed and stored. Memory has three stages: encoding, storage and retrieval. Memory is defined as the ability to understand and then internalize information into the memory stores based on the processes of learning, encoding, retention and then retrieval and reactivation of a memory when stimulated. It is crucial in transforming us from helpless newborns into capable adults. 

In a study done by two MIT neuroscientists found out that there are two brain areas called OPA( Occipital processing area) and RSC( Retrosplenial complex) which are said to involved in processing of visual information and helps in creating a panoramic memories as these brain regions help us to merge fleeting views of our surroundings into a seamless, 360-degree panorama.

”Our hypothesis was that as we begin to build memory of the environment around us, there would be certain regions of the brain where the representation of a single image would start to overlap with representations of other views from the same scene,” Robertson says.

They conducted an experiment on people by presenting them images from various corners of the neighborhood and after showing participants these panoramic environments, the researchers then showed them some pairs of images and asked if they came from the same street corner.

Brain scans of people revealed that when participants saw two images that they knew were linked, the response patterns in the RSC and OPA regions were similar, However, this was not the case for image pairs that the participants had not seen as linked. Thus, these regions can be said to be involved in the building of panoramic memories of our surroundings and helps us in providing a good perceptual experience of our environment.



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