New research led by the universities of Bristol and Heidelberg has identified how the interaction of neural assemblies in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex helps to maintain memory recall, and why memory sometimes fails. The study used brain recordings of rats to show the encoding, recall and storage of memory is chiefly supported by interactions incorporating multiple neural assemblies, highlighting the need for multiple synched connections between neurons. When synchronisation fails, mistakes happen. The findings could have significance for targeting areas of the brain affected by brain injuries or disorders. Future steps for the research include testing whether modulating neural assembly interactions using drugs or brain stimulation could either impair or enhance memory processes.