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The human brain works in reverse order to retrieve memories

January 14, 2019

When we remember a past event, the human brain reconstructs that experience in reverse order, according to a new study at the University of Birmingham.

Understanding more precisely how the brain retrieves information could help us better assess the reliability of eye witness accounts, for example of crime scenes, where people often are able to recall the overall ‘gist’ of an event, but recall specific visual details less reliably.

The study, published in Nature Communications, was carried out by researchers in the Centre for Human Brain Health, who reconstructed the memory retrieval process, using brain decoding techniques. These techniques make it possible to track when in time a unique memory is being reactivated in the brain.

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