"Sniffing Out How Associative Memories Are Formed"

Summary: Dopamine-controlled fan cells in the lateral entorhinal cortex are required for the formation of associative memories.

… The ability to remember relationships between unrelated items (an odor and a location, a song and an event) is known as associative memory.

Psychologists began studying associative memory in the 1800s, with William James describing the phenomenon in his 1890 classic The Principles of Psychology. Scientists today agree that the structures responsible for the formation of associative memory are found in the medial temporal lobe, or the famous “memory center” of the brain, but the particular cells involved, and how those cells are controlled, have remained a mystery until now.