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Aurora magazine

Long-Term Memory: a new gene identified

Francesco Papaleo's team of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) has identified the bases of long-term memory. The researchers found the mechanisms behind multitasking and memory. The discovery will find application in personalized treatment of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

25% of the population has a genetic variation, which helps long-term memory or multitasking. According to the study, every person can be proficient in just one of two things. Or you have a good long-term memory, or you can do many things together. Both skills can not live in the same subject for genetic reasons.

The COMT gene regulates the dopaminergic system, responsible for controlling voluntary movements, cognitive and motivational functions. Research has also revealed its role in the endocannabinoid system, which controls memory and learning. It also emerged that 25% of the population has a mutated version of the gene.

The mutation can determine the hyperactivity of COMT. Subjects with the hyperactive gene have a better memory, but are less skilled in multitasking. Those without the mutation, on the other hand, have a worse long-term memory and greater multitasking capabilities.