How Perception Becomes a Memory
SFB 874: Integration and Representation of Sensory Processes
Helping memory on its way is the intention of researchers in the collaborative research centre 874 "Integration and Representation of Sensory Processes". It researches into how perception turns into memory and behaviour.
In vertebrates, six general systems play a role: hearing, balance, smell, taste, physical perception and pain as well as sight. In the last century, the fundamentals of sensory perceptions were recognised, the molecular fundamentals of sight in the 1960's, somato-sensorics in the 1970's; of hearing in the 1980's and of smell in the 1990's, But it is unclear how the sensory signals are integrated and represented in the brain. "It is only via a system-oriented approach in research of the sensory processes that we will understand how sensory information is converted on the first level of cortical integration and processed on a higher level, with the result that behaviour and formation of memory are triggered via a finely coordinated, sensory perception", explaines Prof. Manahan-Vaughan. The new special research area wishes to research essential aspects of sensory processing via a system-oriented neuro-scientific strategy. With the example of smell, somato-sensorics and sight, the scientists want to clarify processing of the signals from the level of cortical integration down to the final acquisition of a memory entry (engram) based on sensory perception.