225 Years of Building Better Lives
header image
Share Your Story
Explorations in Science and Technology

How Do Memories Get Made?


Anything—grandma’s fresh cookies or the scent of an ex-lover’s perfume—can trigger a memory, but Pitt neuroscientists want to discover precisely how memories get made.

Professor Guoqiang Bi and his research team study neural activity. They’ve found that processing information strengthens synapses, which permit neurons to pass electrical signals.

Stronger synapses mean stronger electrical signals, which mean stronger connections. The stronger the connection, the more the information “stays,” creating memories.

But how does the brain choose what stimulus to process as information?

Daniel J. Simons hopes to answer that question. The neurobiology professor and his team investigate neuronal integration within small neural networks that process sensory information. Knowing how that mechanism works could help scientists to enhance it.