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Art of Science image titled Those Level Miles
Those Level Miles

Scientist Collaborator Chris Seward

Lisa Stubbs Labratory Group

Multiphoton Confocal Microscope Zeiss 710 microscope

An old tune, the smell of crackling firewood, the sight of your childhood home. All these, and many more, experiences can pull us back into fond memories. What helps us remember? The answer is a seahorse-shaped tube– called the hippocampus–in our brain. Scientists believe that the structure takes simultaneous memories from different sensory regions of the brain and creates a single memory. For example, you may remember driving along the highway instead of having separate memories of the cornfields and the sound of the radio.

In the original image, the researchers stained the hippocampus of mice to study their neuronal processes. The art piece has been created by using a section of the hippocampus and the image of a corn field. It reminds us that our body is constantly changing, forging new memories using a collage of sensations.

The researchers used Golgi staining to identify structural and organizational differences in neuronal processes of mice with a mutation in an autism susceptibility gene, Auts2.