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Study Says Electrical Stimulation Of Brain Region Could Help Retrieve Forgotten Memories

BOSTON (CBS) -- Do you ever get frustrated that you can't remember something but feel like it's stored in your brain somewhere? Researchers at UCLA have found that stimulating a particular region of the brain can help retrieve forgotten memories.

The left rostrolateral prefrontal cortex is behind the left side of the forehead. It plays a key role in memory recall and researchers wondered whether electrical stimulation of this area of the brain could bring back memories that might otherwise be lost.

They took 24 subjects and showed them a series of 80 words on a computer screen and later asked them to recall them. They found that when the volunteers received gentle electrical stimulation to that area of the brain, they scored more than 15 percentage points higher on memory tests than when they received no stimulation.

They hope this technique could be used to help people access memories that they may believe were completely forgotten.

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