Posted: June 16, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Monroe and Jane Russell appeared 
outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre 
to write their names and leave imprints 
of their hands and high heels in the 
wet concrete. Down on their knees, 
supported by a velvet-covered pillow for their elbows, they wrote “Gentlemen 
Prefer Blondes” in looping script, followed by their signatures and the date, 6-26-53. But how did those watching the 
events of that day manage to imprint a memory trace of it, etching the details with neurons and synapses in the soft cement of the brain? Where and how are those memories written, and what is the molecular alphabet that spells out the 
rich recollections of color, smell, and sound?

After more than a century of searching, an answer was recently found, strangely enough, just eight miles from Grauman’s. Although not located on any tourist map, the scene of the discovery can be reached easily from Hollywood Boulevard by heading west on Sunset to the campus of UCLA. There, amid one of the densest clusters of neuroscience research facilities in the world, stands the Gonda (Goldschmied) Neuroscience and Genetics Research Center. And sitting at a table in the building’s first-floor restaurant, the Café Synapse, is the neuroscientist who has come closer than anyone ever thought possible to finding the place where memories are written in the brain.


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