Zapping your brain may help

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Zebra Herds waiting at crossing

Put aside the crossword puzzle and push the ginkgo biloba to the back of the shelf. The key to better memory may lie in three letters: ERC.

That stands for entorhinal cortex, the part of the brain that is the gateway to the hippocampus, which is responsible for processing information into memories. In the first study of its kind, scientists showed that when the ERC is activated with electrodes, spatial memory--the kind that helps you orient yourself or find your car in a parking lot--improves.

The unusual study involved a handful of patients with epilepsy who already had electrodes implanted into...

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