Marijuana’s Side Effects

Dave Mosher

Marijuana’s memory-fogging, behavior-altering effects have been linked to out-of-sync communication between brain regions, but researchers had lacked direct evidence of the disruption.

Now neuroscientists who gave rats a cannabis-like compound, loosed them in a maze and measured their brain waves have recorded unusually chaotic communication between brain regions linked to memory formation and complex behaviors.

“In order for an orchestra to play a tune, all of these specialized subsections have to play to a central timing signal,” said neuroscientist Matt Jones of the University of Bristol, leader of the new study, published Oct. 25 in the Journal of Neuroscience. “The same is true of the brain and its subregions.”

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