Studies at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization: Information stored in the activity patterns of cerebral cortex neurons is discarded at the surprisingly high rate of one bit per active neuron per second. The dynamics of the cerebral cortex are specifically tailored to the processing of brief snapshots of the outside world. The Göttingen-based researchers were able to calculate, for the first time, how quickly an activity pattern is lost through tiny changes; in other words, how it is forgotten. No wonder "practice makes perfect," and learning requires repetition. (Ref.: Physical Review Letters, 105, 268104, 2010).

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