The “Memory: Past Meets Present” exhibit is part of the Portal to Current Research that showcases local scientific research and its impact. The exhibit is open now through March 5, 2017.
“We are excited to be a part of this exhibit,” says Dr. Beth Buffalo, Chief Investigator with the Division of Neuroscience at the Washington National Primate Research Center. “This is a great opportunity to teach the public about our efforts to detect early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease in healthy human patients.”
The Buffalo lab uses nonhuman primate research to track the combination of eye movements and the firing of neurons in the hippocampus to predict memory performance. In the lab, monkeys play a video game that has special software to track eye movement as the monkey navigates a virtual world in search of bananas. When the monkey finds a banana, the system provides a treat to the research subject. Treats are normally a special recipe of various fruit sauces. A map of the virtual world correlates to specific neurons in the patient’s hippocampus region of the brain.
The exhibit allows visitors to learn about this virtual built-in GPS system that human and nonhuman primates share. While playing the game, you’ll discover what information is stored in our brains while foraging for food in a virtual forest.
Buffalo Lab graduate student, Seth Konig, will give a public lecture titled “The Neuroscience of Memory: Why We Forget Some Things but Remember Others” at the Pacific Science Center on November 1 at 7 p.m. Admission is $5.
Visit www.pacificsciencecenter.org/lectures for more information.
This exhibit series is funded by a grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Learn more by visiting www.pacificsciencecenter.org.