More GABA in one brain region linked to better working memory, scientist says.

The amount of a particular chemical in a particular part of your brain predicts your ability to simultaneously hang onto several bits of information in your working memory, a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist and his University of California-Davis collaborators have learned. The discovery helps to clarify at least one aspect of the brain’s mysterious ways, and could someday help guide therapies for those whose working memory could stand improvement.

“No previous study has ever pinpointed GABA’s link with working memory in humans,” said Yoon. “Working memory is a complex process, requiring coordinated activity in centers throughout the brain. Yet, remarkably, the amount of this one chemical in a single part of the brain accounts for close to one-third of the variance in individuals’ load capacity.”

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