Articles about Memory

Mouse Study Identifies a Brand New Type of Neuron Involved in Important Memories   Science Alert - June 4, 2022
With almost 90 billion neurons in our brains, it's no wonder we're still piecing together much about how these various types of cells do their work. A team of neuroscientists has now identified another neuron flavor in mice, and its place in the complex circuitry of mammalian brains. These cells are located in the hippocampus – part of the brain heavily involved in learning and memory. The researchers have named this type of neuron Theta-Off Ripple-On (TORO) after its activity pattern.

Study examines why the memory of fear is seared into our brains   Science Daily - June 1, 2022
Neuroscientists have been studying the formation of fear memories in the emotional hub of the brain -- the amygdala -- and think they have a mechanism. Experiencing a frightening event is likely something you'll never forget. But why does it stay with you when other kinds of occurrences become increasingly difficult to recall with the passage of time? A team of neuroscientists from the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering and Tufts University School of Medicine have been studying the formation of fear memories in the emotional hub of the brain -- the amygdala -- and think they have a mechanism. In a nutshell, the researchers found that the stress neurotransmitter norepinephrine, also known as noradrenaline, facilitates fear processing in the brain by stimulating a certain population of inhibitory neurons in the amygdala to generate a repetitive bursting pattern of electrical discharges. This bursting pattern of electrical activity changes the frequency of brain wave oscillation in the amygdala from a resting state to an aroused state that promotes the formation of fear memories.

Breakthrough discovery in neuroscience sheds light on the mysteries of memory   Medical Express - April 6, 2022
The brain's ability to maintain memory can decline with age. Glutamate receptors, the most prominent signaling molecule in the brain, play a key role in encoding memory. And maintaining the number of glutamate receptors present at the synapse, or junction between two nerve cells, likely determines whether or not a memory is preserved or lost.

Scientists show how the action of the eye triggers brain waves to help remember socially important information   Medical Express - March 18, 2021
In a study led by Cedars-Sinai, researchers have uncovered new information about how the area of the brain responsible for memory is triggered when the eyes come to rest on a face versus another object or image. While vision feels continuous, people move their eyes from one distinct spot to another three to four times per second. In this study, investigators found that when the eyes land on a face, certain cells in the amygdala, a part of the brain that processes social information, react and trigger memory-making activity.

Neuroscientists Find Two Types of Brain Cells That Help Us Make Memories   Science Alert - March 9, 2022
Researchers have discovered two types of human brain cells that physically help us form memories. These cells play a significant role in dividing continuous conscious experience into distinct segments that can be recalled in the future.

How our environment affects what we remember   Medical Express - March 10, 2022
Our episodic memory enables us to recount things that we personally experienced. For example, when reminiscing with a friend about seeing a film together in the cinema, people are able to share all kinds of funny details of things that happened that evening. When people think back to watching a film that made them emotional, this may even cause their heart to start racing again. That is because we relive experiences much more physically when our emotional memory is triggered. However, memories can change. We sometimes forget certain details, our memory starts to incorporate details from other experiences, or the evoked emotion of an experience becomes stronger when our memory of it is repeatedly triggered.

Seniors with memory issues take multiple meds, but most are willing to cut down   Medical Express - March 8, 2022
In a study, researchers tracked a national sample of 422 seniors, representing 1.8 million Medicare beneficiaries, who were recruited by the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). Approximately three-quarters were 75-plus; 44% had possible dementia and 56% had probable dementia.

Researchers uncover how the human brain separates, stores, and retrieves memories   Science Daily - March 7, 2022
Researchers have identified two types of cells in our brains that are involved in organizing discrete memories based on when they occurred. This finding improves our understanding of how the human brain forms memories and could have implications in memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

We May Have Just Discovered Why Stressful Events Loom So Large in Memory   Science Alert - October 23, 2021
You may have noticed that stressful situations tend to leave a bigger imprint on our memory banks than periods of peace and contentment, and new research may have now revealed the key reason why. There had been two schools of thought about this - that these stressful memories were either stored in a significantly different way or in a largely similar way in the brain - and this latest study backs up the second idea.

Key mental abilities can actually improve during aging   Medical Express - August 19, 2021
It's long been believed that advancing age leads to broad declines in our mental abilities. Now new research from Georgetown University Medical Center offers surprisingly good news by countering this view. The findings show that two key brain functions, which allow us to attend to new information and to focus on what's important in a given situation, can in fact improve in older individuals. These functions underlie critical aspects of cognition such as memory, decision making, and self-control, and even navigation, math, language, and reading. The findings not only change our view of how aging affects the mind, but may also lead to clinical improvements, including for patients with aging disorders such as Alzheimer's disease

Scientists can plant false memories and reverse them   Inverse - March 24, 2021
Memories are tricky and can comprise much more than our actual recollections. Our minds can make memories out of stories we’ve heard, or photographs we’ve seen, even when the actual recollections are long forgotten. And, new research suggests, this can happen even when the stories aren’t true.

New key player in long-term memory controlled by protein synthesis in inhibitory cells   Science Daily - October 7, 2020

Aging memories may not be 'worse,' just 'different' Brain activity in older adults isn't necessarily quieter when it comes to memory. Common tests of memory involve a person's ability to remember a string of words, count backward, or recognize repeated images

A HREF="">When Memory Deceives Us +   Psychology Today - October 25, 2019
The Memory Kaleidoscope
The Way We Want to Remember

How our brains remember things depends upon how we learn them   Medical Express - October 25, 2019
Learned knowledge is stored in different brain circuits depending on how we acquire it. This research shows that we have multiple networks in the brain that help us store learned knowledge or associations, which means that damage to one part of the brain will still leave alternative mechanisms available for learning.

How memories form and fade - Strong memories are encoded by teams of neurons working together in synchrony   Science Daily - August 23, 2019
Researchers have identified the neural processes that make some memories fade rapidly while other memories persist over time.

Perception and working memory are deeply entangled, study finds   Medical Express - July 17, 2019
Many people have an intuitive, though incorrect, understanding of how the brain works: Our senses perceive objectively factual data, and our higher-level thought processes interpret that data, pull some levers and shape our conclusions and behavior accordingly.

How the brain remembers where you're going   Medical Express - July 5, 2019
Researchers have made new discoveries about how certain brainwaves aid navigation. They hope that the methods may benefit patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders one day. The brain appears to implement a GPS system for spatial navigation; however, it is not yet fully understood how it works.

Rhythmic control of 'brain waves' can boost memory: study   Medical Express - June 6, 2019
Controlling the frequency of 'brain waves' could help to improve people's recall of memories and potentially provide a key to unlock conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, according to a new article.

Why'd I Come in Here? A Brain Zap Could Boost That Fuzzy Memory   Live Science - June 5, 2019
Fuzzy memories can be frustrating, whether you're at the grocery store trying to recall if you finished the last bit of milk or in court giving eye-witness testimony. Now, a new study finds that zapping the brain might boost that memory. After receiving stimulation in a certain part of the brain, study participants were 15.4% better at recalling memories. Specifically, these subjects were better at recalling episodic memories, those that involve a specific time and a place. In an episodic memory, you have contextual detail.

Sleep frees up the hippocampus for new memories   Medical Express - April 25, 2019
Two regions of our brain are central for storing memories: the hippocampus and the neocortex. While the hippocampus is primarily responsible for learning new information and its short-term storage, the neocortex is able to store large amounts of information for a long time.

Depression in 20s linked to memory loss in 50s, psychologists find   Medical Express - March 21, 2019
A new large-scale longitudinal study carried out by University of Sussex psychologists has found a clear link between episodes of depression and anxiety experienced by adults in their twenties, thirties and forties, with a decrease in memory function by the time they are in their fifties.

Forgetting uses more brain power than remembering   Science Daily - March 12, 2019
Choosing to forget something might take more mental effort than trying to remember it.

Alzheimer's-like symptoms reversed in mice - Special diet with compounds contained in green tea and carrots restored working memory   Science Daily - March 6, 2019
The findings lend credence to the idea that certain readily available, plant-based supplements might offer protection against dementia in humans.

Brain study shows coupled ripples in brain areas as part of memory recall   Medical Express - March 2, 2019
A team of researchers has found that parts of the brain experience coupled rippled high-frequency oscillations as part of the process of recalling a memory. Medical scientists have learned a lot about the way memories are saved in the brain - but the same cannot be said about memory retrieval, which is far more complicated.

Scientists shed light on processes behind age-related decline in brain structures important for memory   Medical Express - January 31, 2019
Aging can cause damage to support cells in the white matter, which in turn may lead to damage in the grey matter of the hippocampus. A new study not only confirms that aging leads to both grey matter decline in the hippocampus and white matter decline in the surrounding area, but also reveals the causal relationship between the two.

The human brain works backwards to retrieve memories   Medical Express - January 14, 2019
When we remember a past event, the human brain reconstructs that experience in reverse order. This is in sharp contrast to how the brain processes images when it first encounters them. When we initially see a complex object, it's the visual details - patterns and colors - that we perceive first. Abstract, meaningful information that tells us the nature of the object we're looking at, whether it's a dog, a guitar, or a cup, for example, comes later.

Link between what we see and how we remember 'breaks' as we get older   Medical Express - October 27, 2018
Forgetfulness and age-related memory lapses are a common complaint for many older adults, but what is still not understood is what causes these changes.

Controlling memory by triggering specific brain waves during sleep   Science Daily - July 6, 2017
Manipulating the pulses of electrical activity in the thalamus during non-REM deep sleep make mice remember or forget.

Why the 'peculiar' stands out in our memory   Science Daily - June 19, 2017
Memories that stick with us for a lifetime are those that fit in with a lot of other things we remember -- but have a slightly weird twist. It's this notion of 'peculiarity' that can help us understand what makes lasting memories. It's this notion of 'peculiarity' that can help us understand what makes lasting memories. The way to create a long-lasting memory is to form an association with other memories.

Improving memory with magnets   Medical Express - March 27, 2017
The ability to remember sounds, and manipulate them in our minds, is incredibly important to our daily lives - without it we would not be able to understand a sentence, or do simple arithmetic. New research is shedding light on how sound memory works in the brain, and is even demonstrating a means to improve it.

Researchers identify human brain processes critical to short-term memory   Medical Express - February 20, 2017
This study is the first clear demonstration of precisely how human brain cells work to create and recall short-term memories. Confirmation of this process and the specific brain regions involved is a critical step in developing meaningful treatments for memory disorders that affect millions of Americans.Researchers found persistently active neurons in the medial frontal lobe as well as the medial temporal lobe. The neurons remained active even after the patient stopped looking at an image or object. Until now, the medial temporal lobe was thought to be involved only in the formation of new long-term memories. Now, however, the new findings show that both areas of the brain are critical for maintaining short-term memory and rely upon the ongoing activity of the neurons for memorization.

How the Brain Builds Memory Chains   Scientific American - July 21, 2016
Recollections of successive events physically entangle each other when brain cells store them. Think about the first time you met your college roommate. You were probably nervous, talking a little too loudly and laughing a little too heartily. What else does that memory bring to mind? The lunch you shared later? The dorm mates you met that night? Memories beget memories, and as soon as you think of one, you think of more. Now neuroscientists are starting to figure out why.'

Middle-age memory decline a matter of changing focus   Science Daily - July 12, 2016
The inability to remember details, such as the location of objects, begins in early midlife (the 40s) and may be the result of a change in what information the brain focuses on during memory formation and retrieval, rather than a decline in brain function. Brain changes associated with dementia are now thought to arise decades before the onset of symptoms. So a key question in current memory research concerns which changes to the aging brain are normal and which are not.

Erasing unpleasant memories with a genetic switch   Science Daily - June 30, 2016
Dementia, accidents, or traumatic events can make us lose the memories formed before the injury or the onset of the disease. Researchers have now shown that some memories can also be erased when one particular gene is switched off. In the reported study, the mice were trained to move from one side of a box to the other as soon as a lamp lights up, thus avoiding a foot stimulus. This learning process is called associative learning. Its most famous example is Pavlov's dog: conditioned to associate the sound of a bell with getting food, the dog starts salivating whenever it hears a bell. When the scientists switched off the neuroplastin gene after conditioning, the mice were no longer able to perform the task properly. In other words, they showed learning and memory deficits that were specifically related to associative learning. The control mice with the neuroplastin gene switched on, by contrast, could still do the task perfectly.

Hacking memory to follow through with intentions   Medical Express - May 23, 2016
Whether it's paying the electric bill or taking the clothes out of the dryer, there are many daily tasks that we fully intend to complete and then promptly forget about. New research suggests that linking these tasks to distinctive cues that we'll encounter at the right place and the right time may help us remember to follow through. There are many ways we can try to remind ourselves to do something in the future - we can set a calendar alert, jot down a quick note, or even use the old-fashioned string-around-the-finger trick. But the problem with many of these strategies is that they don't provide a reminder that will be noticed when we need it most.

Dreaming brain rhythms lock in memories   BBC - May 12, 2016
Disrupting brain activity in sleeping mice, specifically during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase, can stop the animals remembering things they learned that day, a study suggests. It is the clearest evidence to date that REM sleep is critical for memory. By switching off certain brain cells, the researchers silenced a particular, rhythmic type of brain function - without waking the mice. If they did this during REM sleep, the mice failed subsequent memory tests.

Dreaming brain rhythms lock in memories   BBC - May 12, 2016
Disrupting brain activity in sleeping mice, specifically during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase, can stop the animals remembering things they learned that day, a study suggests. It is the clearest evidence to date that REM sleep is critical for memory. By switching off certain brain cells, the researchers silenced a particular, rhythmic type of brain function - without waking the mice. If they did this during REM sleep, the mice failed subsequent memory tests.

  Derailed train of thought? Brain's stopping system may be at fault   Medical Express - April 18, 2016
Have you had the experience of being just on the verge of saying something when the phone rang? Did you then forget what it is you were going to say? A study of the brain's electrical activity offers a new explanation of how that happens. Researchers suggest that the same brain system that is involved in interrupting, or stopping, movement in our bodies also interrupts cognition - which, in the example of the phone ringing, derails your train of thought

Been here before: How the brain builds place memories   Science Daily - February 5, 2016
Neuroscientists have succeeded in activating dormant memory cells in rats. Using weak electrical impulses targeted at previously inactive cells in the hippocampus, the researchers induced the cells to recognize the exact place where the impulse had been first administered. The new study offers insight into the question of how memories are formed within our brains.

Brain mechanism for creating durable memories   Science Daily - October 28, 2015
Rehearsing information immediately after being given it may be all you need to make it a permanent memory. Psychologists found that the same area of the brain activated when laying down a memory is also activated when rehearsing that memory. The study showed that the brain region known as the posterior cingulate -- an area whose damage is often seen in those with Alzheimer's -- plays a crucial role in creating permanent memories.

Different memory resolutions map onto different brain locations   Science Daily - October 21, 2015
Neuroscientists have shown that memories of the same events co-exist at different resolutions in the brain. Coarse and fine memory scales are distributed across different parts of the hippocampus, a brain area that plays an important part in memory. Memories of the same events co-exist at different resolutions in the brain. Coarse and fine memory scales are distributed across different parts of the hippocampus, a brain area that plays an important part in memory.

Scientists to bypass brain damage by re-encoding memories   Science Daily - September 29, 2015
Researchers are testing a prosthesis that translates short-term memories into longer-term ones, with the potential to bypass damaged portions of the brain. The prosthesis, which includes a small array of electrodes implanted into the brain, has performed well in laboratory testing in animals and is currently being evaluated in human patients.

Scientists identify that memories can be lost and found   Science Daily - August 4, 2015
A team of scientists believe they have shown that memories are more robust than we thought and have identified the process in the brain, which could help rescue lost memories or bury bad memories, and pave the way for new drugs and treatment for people with memory problems. Scientists say that reminders could reverse the amnesia caused by methods previously thought to produce total memory loss in rats.

Study unites neuroscience and psychology to paint more complete picture of sleep and memory   PhysOrg - June 11, 2015
A new study from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) integrates neuroscience and psychological research to reveal how sleep is more complex than the Bard might have imagined. The new research shows in animal models that sleep suppresses the activity of certain nerve cells that promote forgetting, insuring that at least some memories will last. We have revealed that one of the ways sleep protects a new memory is by quieting dopamine neuron activity that causes forgetting. Since laboratory animals and humans share a need for sleep, as well as many genetic and circuit mechanisms underlying learning and memory, our findings may shed light on the mechanisms underlying the interaction between sleep and memory in humans.

Workings of working memory revealed   PhysOrg - June 8, 2015
Until now, it was thought that working memory - the way in which we deal with and respond to immediate demands - was underpinned by stable brain patterns. The OHBA team discovered that instead, the areas of the brain responsible for working memory are changing all the time. Previously it was believed that in order to carry out a task, there would be constant brain activity related to the goal of that task. In a review of fifty years of studies using monkeys, the OHBA team found that instead there were periods when there was no brain activity related to the goal. Yet, as soon as it was necessary, these 'activity-silent' periods ended and the brain activity could be observed again.'

'Lost' Memories Restored in Mice   Live Science
In a feat that calls to mind the memory-tweaking technology in the film "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," a team of researchers restored "lost memories" in the brains of mice. The mice in the study were given a drug that prevented them from consolidating a fearful memory. But when neurons involved in encoding the memory were stimulated with pulses of light, the animals were able to retrieve the forgotten recollection. In some forms of amnesia, past memories may not be erased, but may just be inaccessible for recall.

Repeated remembering erases similar memories   BBC - March 17, 2015
Recalling a particular memory can cause us to forget another, similar memory - and neuroscientists have now watched this process happen using brain scans. Inside the brains of human subjects, they pinpointed the unique imprints of two visual memories that were triggered by the same word. Then they watched as repeatedly recalling one of the images caused the second, interfering memory to vanish. The results suggest that our brains actively delete memories that might distract us from the task at hand.

New insight into how brain performs 'mental time travel'   PhysOrg - February 17, 2015
Mental time travel is the recollection of memories rich in detail regarding the time and place of an original experience that it is much like traveling through time. Researchers found that they can use the activity patterns in a specific region of the brain to substantially improve their ability to predict the order in which the participants recall information that they have recently studied. It's extremely important that we understand what different brain regions are doing as we search through our memories

Memory recall 'better when eyes shut'   BBC - January 16, 2015
> Closing your eyes when trying to recall events increases the chances of accuracy. Scientists tested people's ability to remember details of films showing fake crime scenes. They hope the studies will help witnesses recall details more accurately when questioned by police. They say establishing a rapport with the person asking the questions can also help boost memory.

Why Painful Memories Linger   Live Science - December 10, 2014
Memories of traumatic events can be hard to shake, and now scientists say they understand why. Studies on laboratory rats have revealed, for the first time, the brain mechanism that translates unpleasant experiences into long-lasting memories. The findings support a 65-year-old hypothesis called Hebbian plasticity. This idea states that in the face of trauma, such as watching a dog sink its teeth into your leg, more neurons in the brain fire electrical impulses in unison and make stronger connections to each other than under normal situations. Stronger connections make stronger memories. The new findings are not only an important advance in researchers' understanding of how Hebbian plasticity works, but they also may lead to treatments to help patients forget horrible memories, such as those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Blood type 'link to memory loss'   BBC - September 11, 2014
There may be a link between a rare blood type and memory loss in later life, American research suggests. People with AB blood, found in 4% of the population, appear more likely to develop thinking and memory problems than those with other blood groups. A US team led by Dr Mary Cushman, of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, analysed data from about 30,000 US citizens aged 45 and above. It identified 495 participants who had developed thinking and memory problems, or cognitive impairment, during the three-year study. They were compared to 587 people with no cognitive problems. People with AB blood type made up 6% of the group who developed cognitive impairment, which is higher than the 4% found in the general population.

Similar memories benefit from 'extra space' in brain   BBC - July 8, 2014
Similar memories overlap physically in the brain and this produces less confusion if the brain area responsible is larger, according to new research. Most of us store many similar memories, relating to the places we spend most time and the people we know best. Normally we can tell them apart, though some of us may be better at it than others. The CA3 region was thought to process each memory using distinct sets of brain cells. These findings suggest, however, that when two episodes incorporate similar content, they may in fact be "remembered" by physically overlapping networks - and more space could be beneficial.

How our brains store recent memories, cell by single cell   Science Daily - June 17, 2014
Confirming what neurocomputational theorists have long suspected, researchers report that the human brain locks down episodic memories in the hippocampus, committing each recollection to a distinct, distributed fraction of individual cells. The findings further illuminate the neural basis of human memory and may, ultimately, shed light on new treatments for diseases and conditions that adversely affect it, such as Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.

Sleep's memory role discovered   BBC - June 5, 2014

It is well known that sleep plays an important role in memory and learning. But what actually happens inside the brain has been a source of considerable debate. Researchers at New York University School of Medicine and Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School trained mice in a new skill - walking on top of a rotating rod. They then looked inside the living brain with a microscope to see what happened when the animals were either sleeping or sleep deprived. Their study showed that sleeping mice formed significantly more new connections between neurons - they were learning more.

A connection between two brain cells

Researchers use rhythmic brain activity to track memories in progress   PhysOrg - June 5, 2014
Tuning functions constructed from spatially distributed oscillatory alpha activity are shown during the storage of a single oriented line in visual working memory. Early transient peaks (top) and later sustained peaks (bottom) correspond to distinct stimulus-specific patterns of neural activity observed during stimulus encoding and storage, respectively.

Our memory for sounds is significantly worse than our memory for visual or tactile things   Science Daily - February 27, 2014
Remember that sound bite you heard on the radio this morning? The grocery items your spouse asked you to pick up? Chances are, you won't. Researchers have found that when it comes to memory, we don't remember things we hear nearly as well as things we see or touch. We tend to think that the parts of our brain wired for memory are integrated. But current findings indicate our brain may use separate pathways to process information. Even more, our study suggests the brain may process auditory information differently than visual and tactile information, and alternative strategies -- such as increased mental repetition -- may be needed when trying to improve memory.

Your memory is no video camera: It edits the past with present experiences   Science Daily - February 5, 2014
Your memory is a wily time traveler, plucking fragments of the present and inserting them into the past, reports a new study. In terms of accuracy, it's no video camera. Rather, memory rewrites the past with current information, updating your recollections with new experiences to aid survival. You memory rewrites the past with current information, updating your recollections with new experiences. This the first study to show specifically how memory is faulty, and how it can insert things from the present into memories of the past when those memories are retrieved. The study shows the exact point in time when that incorrectly recalled information gets implanted into an existing memory. To help us survive our memories adapt to an ever-changing environment and help us deal with what's important now.

Scientists and practitioners don't see eye to eye on repressed memory   PhysOrg - December 13, 2013
Skepticism about repressed traumatic memories has increased over time, but new research shows that psychology researchers and practitioners still tend to hold different beliefs about whether such memories occur and whether they can be accurately retrieved. Whether repressed memories are accurate or not, and whether they should be pursued by therapists, or not, is probably the single most practically important topic in clinical psychology since the days of Freud and the hypnotists who came before him. The new findings suggest that there remains a serious split in the field of psychology in beliefs about how memory works.

Possibility of Selectively Erasing Unwanted Memories   Science Daily - September 11, 2013
The human brain is exquisitely adept at linking seemingly random details into a cohesive memory that can trigger myriad associations -- some good, some not so good. For recovering addicts and individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), unwanted memories can be devastating. Now, for the first time, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been able to erase dangerous drug-associated memories in mice and rats without affecting other more benign memories.

Scientists Create New Memories by Directly Changing the Brain   Science Daily - September 11, 2013
By studying how memories are made, UC Irvine neurobiologists created new, specific memories by direct manipulation of the brain, which could prove key to understanding and potentially resolving learning and memory disorders.

Remembering to remember supported by two distinct brain processes   PhysOrg - August 19, 2013
You plan on shopping for groceries later and you tell yourself that you have to remember to take the grocery bags with you when you leave the house. Lo and behold, you reach the check-out counter and you realize you've forgotten the bags. Remembering to remember—whether it's grocery bags, appointments, or taking medications - is essential to our everyday lives. New research sheds light on two distinct brain processes that underlie this type of memory, known as prospective memory.

If you can remember it, you can remember it wrong   PhysOrg - May 21, 2013
Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo is often inescapable. On small scales, we know it is in fact impossible to measure something without changing its essential character in some way. One idea that has recently gained momentum, is that although our brains have mechanisms for unpacking past experience into a form where it can be consciously manipulated with the full power of the mind, mechanisms to repack those memories into the original form lack similar finesse. In this light, once touched, a memory is no longer exactly the same.

Reactivating memories during sleep: Memory rehearsal during sleep can make a big difference in remembering later   PhysOrg - April 12, 2013
Why do some memories last a lifetime while others disappear quickly? A new study suggests that memories rehearsed, during either sleep or waking, can have an impact on memory consolidation and on what is remembered later. The new Northwestern University study shows that when the information that makes up a memory has a high value (associated with, for example, making more money), the memory is more likely to be rehearsed and consolidated during sleep and, thus, be remembered later.

Aging brain gets stuck in time, researchers show   PhysOrg - March 14, 2012
The aging brain loses its ability to recognize when it is time to move on to a new task, explaining why the elderly have difficulty multi-tasking, Yale University researchers report. Laubach's team was studying the impact of aging on working memory, the type of memory that allows you to recall that dinner is in the oven when you are talking on the phone. The researchers examined brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex of young and older rats that is related to spatial working memory - the type of memory that allows you to recall, for example, that mashed potatoes are on the stove and the turkey is in the oven

Remembrance of things future: Long-term memory sets the stage for visual perception   PhysOrg - December 28, 2011
Rather than being a passive state, perception is an active process fueled by predictions and expectations about our environment. In the latter case, memory must be a fundamental component in the way our brain generates these precursors to the perceptual experience – but how the brain integrates long-term memory with perception has not been determined.

Walking through doorways causes forgetting, new research shows   PhysOrg - November 17, 2011
We've all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find. Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary' in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away.

How the Brain Makes Memories: Rhythmically   Science Daily - October 11, 2011
The brain learns through changes in the strength of its synapses -- the connections between neurons -- in response to stimuli. Now, in a discovery that challenges conventional wisdom on the brain mechanisms of learning, UCLA neuro-physicists have found there is an optimal brain "rhythm," or frequency, for changing synaptic strength. And further, like stations on a radio dial, each synapse is tuned to a different optimal frequency for learning.

Your Memory Might Not Be As Powerful As You Think   Live Science - August 4, 2011
A significant number of Americans believe that memory is more powerful, objective and reliable than it actually is, a new survey finds. Some memory myths are so pervasive that up to 83 percent of people believe them.The survey, published online today (Aug. 3) in the journal PLoS ONE, queried a nationally representative sample of 1,500 Americans about a variety of common beliefs about memory. The survey found that almost two-thirds of Americans believe that memory works like a video camera, accurately recording events for later review. In fact, study researchers said, scientific data suggests that even confident eyewitnesses to an event are wrong about what happened 30 percent of the time.

  Social pressure falsifies memory: study   PhysOrg - June 30, 2011
How easy is it to falsify memory? New research at the Weizmann Institute shows that a bit of social pressure may be all that is needed. The study, which appears Friday in Science, reveals a unique pattern of brain activity when false memories are formed – one that hints at a surprising connection between our social selves and memory.

Memory Lapses Linked to Brain Cells Napping   Live Science - April 28, 2011
If you're staying up past your bedtime, you may not be as awake as you think you are. A new study of sleep-deprived rats finds that some of the animals' brain cells go into an "off" state even as the rats remain active and seemingly alert.

Researchers find novel memory-enhancing mechanism in brain   PhysOrg - December 15, 2010
In collaboration with scientists at Germany's University of Munster, the UCI team found that a small protein called neuropeptide S can strengthen and prolong memories of everything from negative events to simple objects. According to study leader Rainer Reinscheid, UCI associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, the discovery could provide important clues about how the brain stores memories and also lead to new treatments for Alzheimer's disease, dementia and other cognitive impairments.

  Sleep helps brain sift memories, study shows   PhysOrg - December 1, 2010
Most adults say they can't remember things as well as they used to. But what they really mean is that they can't remember anything for very long - and poor sleep may be the cause.

How memories are born   PhysOrg - October 25, 2010
When we experience something new, or wish to remember something important, groups of cells deep inside the center of our brains fire in unison as a new memory is born.

Kids' Mental Number Lines Reveal Math Memory   Live Science - September 11, 2010
Kids who visualize numbers as an evenly spaced line are better at remembering the digits than kids who scrunch up the numbers in their heads, according to a new study. The findings, published in the journal Psychological Science, suggest the way kids visualize numbers reflects their understanding of what the symbols mean.

Memory researchers explain latest findings on improving the mind, stopping memory loss   PhysOrg - August 13, 2010
The ability to remember is not just to glimpse into the past; a sharp memory can help with creativity, productivity and even the ability to imagine the future, according to several psychologists.

Remembering so as not to forget   PhysOrg - July 20, 2010
Verbal distractions are a primary cause of poor memory, according to scientific tests, which prove that the key to preventing ourselves from forgetting is to rehearse and refresh our thoughts. Psychologists from the University of Bristol conducted a series of tests with 117 six year old children and 104 eight year old children to assess why we forget and how we preserve material in working memory, which governs our ability to process information in order to complete everyday tasks such as problem solving and arithmetic.

Memories are made of this: New study uncovers key to how we learn and remember   PhysOrg - June 28, 2010
The study in the Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology found one of the key proteins involved in the process of memory and learning. The breakthrough study has potential to impact drug design to treat Alzheimer's disease.

Preserving memory with age   PhysOrg - May 18, 2010
If you lived longer, would you still remember everything? It depends. Two methods of extending life span have very different effects on memory performance and decline with age. Two authors determined how each of the behaviors declines with age, and tested the effects of two known regulators of longevity -- dietary restriction and reduced Insulin/IGF-1 signaling -- on these declines. Surprisingly, very different effects on memory were achieved with the two longevity treatments: dietary restriction impaired memory in early adulthood but maintained memory with age, while reduced Insulin/IGF-1 signaling improved early adult memory performance but failed to preserve it with age. These results suggest not only that longevity treatments could help preserve cognitive function with age, but also that different longevity treatments might have very different effects on such declines.

Shedding light on the dynamics of memory: Researchers find mechanism that maintains memories   PhysOrg - April 13, 2010
Why do we remember? What allows our brains to retain bits of information (while forgetting others) for years and years? Why can we remember things that happened decades ago, but forget whether we left the lights on when we left home this morning?

Bad Memories Erased with Behavior Therapy   Live Science - December 9, 2009
In a scientific experiment that brings to mind the memory-erasing escapade in the 2004 film "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," scientists have blocked fearful recollections in human participants, sans drugs. The results challenge the view that our long-term memories are fixed and resistant to change. This isn't the first time science has endeavored to understand and vanquish our fears. But it's the first time using a behavioral technique has been proven to work in humans, as opposed to a pharmacological one. A similar study was carried out in rats and reported earlier this year.

Noninvasive Technique to Rewrite Fear Memories Developed   Science Daily - December 10, 2009
Researchers at New York University have developed a non-invasive technique to block the return of fear memories in humans. The technique, reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature, may change how we view the storage processes of memory and could lead to new ways to treat anxiety disorders.

Waking up memories while you sleep   PhysOrg - November 19, 2009
They were in a deep sleep, yet sounds, such as a teakettle whistle and a cat's meow, somehow penetrated their slumber. The 25 sounds presented during the nap were reminders of earlier spatial learning, though the Northwestern University research participants were unaware of the sounds as they slept.

Memories Exist Even When Forgotten, Study Suggests   Science Daily - September 10, 2009
A woman looks familiar, but you can't remember her name or where you met her. New research by UC Irvine neuroscientists suggests the memory exists – you simply can't retrieve it. Using advanced brain imaging techniques, the scientists discovered that a person's brain activity while remembering an event is very similar to when it was first experienced, even if specifics can't be recalled.

Researchers identify one of the necessary processes in the formation of long-term memory   PhysOrg - September 8, 2009
A new study that was carried out at the University of Haifa has identified another component in the chain of actions that take place in the neurons in the process of forming memories. This discovery joins a line of findings from previous studies that together provide a better understanding of the most complex processes in nature - the process of memory formation and storage in the human brain.

Believing Is Seeing: Thoughts Color Perception -- Implications From Everyday Misunderstandings To Eyewitness Memory   Science Daily - September 3, 2009
Folk wisdom usually has it that "seeing is believing," but new research suggests that "believing is seeing," too – at least when it comes to perceiving other people's emotions.

Scientists discover why we never forget how to ride a bicycle   PhysOrg - July 17, 2009
When one acquires a new skill like riding a bicycle, the cerebellum is the part of the brain needed to learn the co-ordinated movement. One particular type of nerve cell -the so called molecular layer interneuron - acts as a "gatekeeper", controlling the electrical signals that leave the cerebellum. Molecular layer interneurons transform the electrical signals into a language that can be laid down as a memory in other parts of the brain.

First Image of a Memory Being Made   Live Science - June 26, 2009
For the first time, an image of a memory being made at the cellular level has been captured by scientists. The image shows that proteins are created at connections between brain cells when a long-term memory is formed. Neuroscientists had suspected as much, but hadn't been able to see it happening until now. The experiment also revealed some surprising aspects of memory formation, which remains a somewhat mysterious process.

Scientists discover how the brain remembers one-time experiences   PhysOrg - May 26, 2009
Single events account for many of our memories - a marriage proposal, a wedding toast, a baby's birth. Until a recent UC Irvine discovery, scientists knew little about what happens inside your brain that allows you to remember such events.

How The Brain Translates Memory Into Action   Science Daily - April 27, 2009
When we emerge from a supermarket laden down with bags and faced with a sea of vehicles, how do we remember where we've parked our car and translate the memory into the correct action to get back there? New research identifies the specific parts of the brain responsible for solving this everyday problem. The results could have implications for understanding the functional significance of a prominent brain abnormality observed in neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia.

Scientists identify machinery that helps make memories PhysOrg - October 30, 2008
A major puzzle for neurobiologists is how the brain can modify one microscopic connection, or synapse, at a time in a brain cell and not affect the thousands of other connections nearby. Plasticity, the ability of the brain to precisely rearrange the connections between its nerve cells, is the framework for learning and forming memories.

New understanding of how we remember traumatic events PhysOrg - October 23, 2008
Neuroscientists at The University of Queensland have discovered a new way to explain how emotional events can sometimes lead to disturbing long term memories.

What do you remember? BBC - June 18, 2008
If someone was killed in front of you would you remember what happened? Many experts are challenging the view that eyewitnesses recounting what they saw is the best way of tapping their memory. Some think brain scans could be the way forward.

New Understanding Of Basic Units Of Memory Science Daily - September 24, 2007
A molecular "recycling plant" permits nerve cells in the brain to carry out two seemingly contradictory functions -- changeable enough to record new experiences, yet permanent enough to maintain these memories over time.

Blind People Have Superior Memory Skills Live Science - June 22, 2007
Blind people are whizzes at remembering things in the right order, scientists now find. In the absence of vision, the world is experienced as sequences.

Too Much Knowledge Can Be Bad For Some Types Of Memory Science Daily - May 20, 2005
A new study found adults did better remembering pictures of imaginary animals than they did remembering pictures of real cats. The results show how some types of memory might be better when people forget what they know and instead approach a subject with a child-like sense of niavete.

Short Term Memory's Effectiveness Influenced By Sight, Sound Science Daily - September 2004
For decades scientists have believed that people can only remember an ordered list of about seven items at a time - such as seven grocery items or seven digits of a phone number - but new research from the University of Rochester has shown that this magic number varies depending on whether the language used is spoken or signed. The results in the cover story of the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience have important implications for standardized tests, which often employ ordered-list retention as a measure of a person's mental aptitude.