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Here’s how human brain recalls events

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Do you know how we recall a past event? According to a new study, when retrieving information, the human brain reconstructs that experience in reverse order indicating that it focuses first on recovering the ‘gist’ and recalls more specific details later.

The study found that when we initially see a complex object, the visual details — patterns and colours — are perceived first. Whereas, abstract, meaningful information that tells us the nature of the object we are looking at comes later.
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“We know that our memories are not exact replicas of the things we originally experienced. Memory is a reconstructive process, biased by personal knowledge and world views – sometimes we even remember events that never actually happened. But exactly how memories are reconstructed in the brain, step by step, is currently not well understood,” said lead author, Juan Linde Domingo, doctoral student at the University of Birmingham in Britain.

The researchers reconstructed the memory retrieval process, using brain decoding techniques which make it possible to track when in time a unique memory is being reactivated in the brain.

During the study, participants saw images of specific objects and then learned to associate each image with a unique reminder word, for example the word ‘spin’ or ‘pull’.

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They were later presented with the reminder word and asked to reconstruct the associated image in as much detail as possible.

The findings, published in Nature Communications, showed that the participants retrieved higher-level, abstract information, shortly after they heard the reminder word.

“It suggests they will become more abstract and gist-like with each retrieval,” added Domingo.

The team is currently also looking in more detail at how and where the brain reconstructs more complex memories.

Business

Zomato acquires UberEats India for nearly Rs 2,500 crore

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New Delhi: Zomato on Tuesday announced that it has acquired Uber’s Food Delivery Business in India in an all-stock deal and Uber will have 9.99 per cent stake in the Deepinder Goyal-led food delivery platform.

According to sources close to the deal, it is in the range of over $350 million or nearly Rs 2,500 crore.

Uber Eats in India will discontinue operations and direct restaurants, delivery partners, and users of the Uber Eats apps to the Zomato platform, effective from Tuesday.

“We are proud to have pioneered restaurant discovery and to have created a leading food delivery business across more than 500 cities in India. This acquisition significantly strengthens our position in the category,” said Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato.

According to company sources, for the first three quarters of 2019, “our Uber Eats business comprised 3 per cent of our global Eats gross bookings, but was more than 25 per cent of our global Eats Segment Adjusted EBITDA losses”.

Uber started its food delivery service in India around mid-2017, but has not been able to scale up in the face of big players like Zomato and Swiggy.

It currently has nearly 26,000 restuarants listed on its platform from over 40 cities.

The market is piping hot as according to a recent study by business consultancy firm Market Research Future, the online food ordering market in India is likely to grow at over 16 per cent annually to touch $17.02 billion by 2023.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the Uber Eats team in India has achieved an incredible amount over the last two years.

“India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local Rides business, which is already the clear category leader,” said Khosrowshahi.

“We have been very impressed by Zomato’s ability to grow rapidly in a capital-efficient manner and we wish them continued success,” he added.

On January 10, Zomato had announced that it has secured $150 million in fresh funding from Ant Financial, a subsidiary of China-based giant Alibaba.

The latest round of funding in Zomato, which currently value the company at $3 billion, is part of $600 million funding round announced by Zomato CEO Goyal at a Delhi event last December.

The deal comes in the wake of merger talks between Zomato and Swiggy, whoch both the companies have denied to date.

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