How your brain puts the “where” and “when” in memories
Each memory relies on three critical elements, those being the “what,” “where” and “when” building blocks. Neuroscientists from MIT have identified a brain circuit — connecting the hippocampus and a region of the cortex known as entorhinal cortex — that handles the “when” and “where” components.
This region separates location and timing into two distinct streams of information. Two populations of neurons were identified in this region that convey this information deeper into the brain, that the researchers dubbed “ocean cells” and “island cells.”
Previous theories of memory formation held that the hippocampus, a structure critical for memory formation, separates information regarding context and timing. However, these findings show that the information is split even before it reaches this area.