A woman walking down the street hears a bang. Several moments later she discovers her boyfriend, who had been walking ahead of her, has been shot. A month later, the woman checks into the emergency room. The noises made by garbage trucks, she says, are causing panic attacks. Her brain had formed a deep, lasting connection between loud sounds and the devastating sight she witnessed.
The brain has a powerful ability to remember and connect events separated in time. And now, in a new study in mice, scientists have shed light on how the brain can form such enduring links.