Listen: How do memories work?

(Credit: Getty Images)

In this episode of the new podcast Explain This!, Boston University neuroscientist Steve Ramirez explains how memories are created, stored, and recalled in the brain.

In the debut episode, science writer Jessica Colarossi sits down with Ramirez, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, to discuss his lab’s research on how the brain records and stores memories. Ramirez’s team relies on a biological technique called optogenetics that lets them view memories as physical phenomena in the brain—a process known as engram mapping.

Colarossi asks Ramirez about where memories are stored, the differences (and similarities) between human and nonhuman memories, and how memory-manipulating technology could be used to alleviate symptoms of PTSD in a clinical setting.

Listen to the podcast below or find it on Spotify, YouTube, and other podcast platforms:


  • Memories don’t live in a single point in the brain.
  • Memories are malleable—and negative ones can be updated with more positive information.
  • Scientists need to prepare safeguards to prevent the potential future abuse of memory manipulation technology.

Read the transcript of this episode.

Source: Boston University