Your brain transmits information about your current location and memories of past locations over the same neural pathways using different frequencies of a rhythmic electrical activity called gamma waves, report neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin.
The research, published in the journal Neuron on April 17, may provide insight into the cognitive and memory disruptions seen in diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's, in which gamma waves are disturbed.
Previous research has shown that the same brain region is activated whether we're storing memories of a new place or recalling past places we've been.
"Many of us leave our cars in a parking garage on a daily basis. Every morning, we create a memory of where we parked our car, which we retrieve in the evening when we pick it up," said Laura Colgin, assistant professor of neuroscience and member of the Center for Learning and Memory in The University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences.