Researchers found the brain activity that happens when mice that are learning make the right choice, and know it. A new study links this specific type of brain activity with the short-term memory that animals, including humans, use for complex tasks. That type of memory, called working memory, is important for mental math, problem solving and remembering lists.
It's a big part of learning and everyday life. The study also sheds some light on a type of brain activity, called synchronized gamma oscillations, that neuroscientists have been long interested in. For the study, neuroscientists associated with MIT and with RIKEN, a Japanese research institute, sent a bunch of mice down tunnels that ended in T intersections. One of the T's arms led to food, while the other didn't. Over the course of several trials, the mice learned and remembered which arm had food and which didn't.