Using a tiny burst of concentrated light, scientists have actually taken a big step towards understanding how cells in the brain record memories with the help of mice. Nature (The International Journal Of Science) published results in late August which reveal that negative memories aren't permanent and can often be rewritten each time it is recalled, similar to how witness testimony tends to change throughout multiple statements. Neuroscientist Richard Morris of the University of Edinburgh says the study provides a “much more precise handle on some of the steps of memory formation than we’ve had before.” Memories are encoded in groups of neurons which act together in specific patterns and certain regions of the brain are responsible for analyzing different elements of an event.
What researchers believe is that even though an emotion may be felt in accordance with memories, it may be stored in a region completely different from where information about the environment of the event occurred. By determining how these regions interact and how to control them, scientists will have a much better chance at helping those who experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Last year, researchers even implanted false memories in mice through neurons which made them remember old experiments as completely new and different. Source: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13725.html