Your brain is as unique as your fingerprints, or at least that’s what we've been led to believe. However, a new study has revealed that despite our ideas of individuality, our brains remember and recall events in pretty much the same identical patterns.

The study, conducted by researchers from Princeton University, found that we all have nearly the same brain activity patterns when we try and recall the same event. In addition, we may also implant these patterns into the brains of others who did not experience the event when we tell them the story of what happened.

“We feel our memories are unique, but we see now that there’s a lot in common between us in how we see and remember the world, even at the level of brain activity patterns,” explained study author Janice Chen, New Scientist reported.

Read: Women Have Better Memories Than Men

For the study, the team had 17 volunteers view a 50 minute episode of the BBC drama "Sherlock," and then recall distinct scenes while researchers analyzed their brain activity. In doing so, they observed that the brain activity of all 17 volunteers was nearly identical when they recalled these scenes. In addition, the way that the volunteers “edited” their memories was also identical, including what parts of the memories were cut and which were retained, New Scientist reported.

“We’re showing here that there’s a distinct brain pattern for each movie scene,” added Chen. “Usually, memory experiments use single words or static pictures, so we’re excited to show it’s possible to do all this during a much more realistic experience, watching an hour-long movie and talking freely about it for many minutes.”

Although the exact reason for this mirrored memory effect is not clear, the team hypothesize we may have adapted it as a way to make communication easier — an integral part of what makes us human.

Source: Chen J, Leong YC, Honey CJ, Yong CH, Norman KA, Hasson U. Shared memories reveal shared structure in neural activity across individuals. Nature Neuroscience. 2016

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