Painless memories

MICE that feel less pain have a better memory than their more sensitive cousins. Researchers at the University of Tokyo say their discovery could lead to new treatments for memory loss. Hiroshi Takeshima and his colleagues found that mice lacking the brain receptor for the substance nociceptin, which is involved in pain perception, are significantly more adept at learning their way around a maze. Examination of the animals’ brains revealed that the poorer learners formed fewer neural connections. The researchers suggest in this week’s Nature(vol 394,
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