background preloader

Memory

Facebook Twitter

Our Brains Instantly Make Two Copies of Each Memory — NOVA Next. For decades, we’ve thought that memories were formed in two distinct stages—short-term first, then long-term later.

Our Brains Instantly Make Two Copies of Each Memory — NOVA Next

We might be wrong. New research suggests that our brains make two copies of each memory in the moment they are formed. One is filed away in the hippocampus, the center of short-term memories, while the other is stored in cortex, where our long-term memories reside. A visualization of the long-distance connections in the brain These findings, published yesterday in the journal Science, upend more than 50 years of accepted neuroscience, and they’re being hailed by other neuroscientists. Dr Amy Milton, who researches memory at Cambridge University, described the study as “beautiful, elegant and extremely impressive”.She told the BBC News website: “I’m quite surprised.

Famous patient Henry Molaison, also known as H.M., helped solidify the prevailing theory of memory formation and storage. Show. MTT Explained - Course NEUR 0193: Great Controversies in Neurobiology. In the last decade a new theory has taken form, challenging the standard model of memory consolidation (SMC).

MTT Explained - Course NEUR 0193: Great Controversies in Neurobiology

Nadel and Moscovitch (1997) put forth the Multiple Trace Theory (MTT), which posits that the hippocampus is necessary for retrieval of remote memories. An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie. Dissociative amnesia. Cause of infantile amnesia revealed: New neuron formation could increase capacity for new learning, at expense of old memories.

New research presented today shows that formation of new neurons in the hippocampus -- a brain region known for its importance in learning and remembering -- could cause forgetting of old memories by causing a reorganization of existing brain circuits.

Cause of infantile amnesia revealed: New neuron formation could increase capacity for new learning, at expense of old memories

Drs. Paul Frankland and Sheena Josselyn, both from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, argue this reorganization could have the positive effect of clearing old memories, reducing interference and thereby increasing capacity for new learning. These results were presented at the 2013 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, the annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience -- Association Canadienne des Neurosciences (CAN-ACN). Infantile amnesia: A neurogenic hypothesis. Abstract In the late 19th Century, Sigmund Freud described the phenomenon in which people are unable to recall events from early childhood as infantile amnesia.

Infantile amnesia: A neurogenic hypothesis

Although universally observed, infantile amnesia is a paradox; adults have surprisingly few memories of early childhood despite the seemingly exuberant learning capacity of young children. Memory systems. Memory systems. Nihms327697. Scientists create artificial link between unrelated memories. Deconstructing brain systems involved in memory and spatial skills. In work that reconciles two competing views of brain structures involved in memory and spatial perception, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have conducted experiments that suggest the hippocampus -- a small region in the brain's limbic system -- is dedicated largely to memory formation and not to spatial skills, such as navigation.

Deconstructing brain systems involved in memory and spatial skills

The study is published in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "The role of the hippocampus in spatial cognition versus memory formation is a major debating point in our understanding of how the human brain processes its exterior environment," said senior author Larry Squire, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, and Psychology. "This study shows that the hippocampus is primarily associated with memory. We don’t notice much of what we see: 85 college students tried to draw the Apple logo from memory; 84 failed. Could you draw the ubiquitous Apple computer logo from memory?

We don’t notice much of what we see: 85 college students tried to draw the Apple logo from memory; 84 failed

Probably not, as it turns out. In a new study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, UCLA psychologists found that almost none of their subjects could draw the logo correctly from memory. Out of 85 UCLA undergraduate students, only one correctly reproduced the Apple logo when asked to draw it on a blank sheet of paper. Fewer than half the students correctly identified the actual logo when they were shown it among a number of similar logos with slightly altered features. Among the participants were 52 Apple users, 10 PC users and 23 students who used both Apple and PC products -- but the findings did not differ between Apple and PC users.

How can this be, given that logos are designed to be simple, memorable and visually distinctive, and Apple's logo is among the world's most recognizable? An explanation may be that our brains have learned it is not important to remember specific details. There’s more to working memory than meets the eye. I’ve had several conversations on Twitter with Peter Blenkinsop about learning and the brain.

there’s more to working memory than meets the eye

At the ResearchEd conference on Saturday, we continued the conversation and discovered that much of our disagreement was because we were using different definitions of learning. Peter’s definition is that learning involves being able to actively recall information; mine is that it involves changes to the brain in response to information. working memory Memory is obviously essential to learning. IDA_Working Memory and Math Article by Berch. Getting back to the White Queen’s arithmetic problem, while adding single digits should be comparatively easy for most typically achieving seven-and-a-half-year-olds (Alice’s age), it is evident from this example that one can excessively tax working memory by requiring a learner to simultaneously attend, store, and mentally process a rather large amount of information (albeit elementary in some sense) within a relatively short period of time.

IDA_Working Memory and Math Article by Berch

As Susan Gathercole, another leading researcher in this field has pointed out, overloading this fragile mental workspace can lead to “complete and catastrophic loss of information from working memory” (Gathercole, 2008, p. 382). Complete and catastrophic loss -- sadly, that's what happens all too often to math students. Obviously, no teacher would deliberately choose to overload his or her students’ working memory capacity.

So diplomatically stated! How Are Working Memory Skills Measured? Fascinating! Note. Working Mem & Math Review. Discovering the Roots of Memory - Olga Khazan. An interview with Brenda Milner, who studied one of the most famous patients in the history of psychology.

Discovering the Roots of Memory - Olga Khazan

Her findings shaped everything we now know about the way we remember. alice313/Flickr As a 95-year-old psychologist, Brenda Milner still remembers the “bad old days” of frontal lobotomies as a treatment for psychosis. In fact, her research provided some of the first evidence showing why such invasive brain operations could be harmful. Milner, who teaches and conducts research at the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University in Quebec, is perhaps most known for her work with Henry Molaison, a patient formerly known as H.M. BrainSCANr. Applied Cognition. Everyday life goes by so fast --but does it go so fast that you can't even remember what a real penny looks like?

Applied Cognition

We all use them! Learn how mnemonic devices help you remember -- then make your own personalized mnemonic devices! Information Processing Theory. Humans process information with amazing efficiency and often perform better than highly sophisticated machines at tasks such as problem solving and critical thinking (Halpern, 2003; Kuhn, 1999). Yet despite the remarkable capabilities of the human mind, it was not until the 20th century that researchers developed systematic models of memory, cognition, and thinking. The best articulated and most heavily researched model is the information processing model (IPM), developed in the early 1950s. Human Memory Model. Scientists do not yet understand many things about human memory and many of the ideas and theories about it are still quite controvercial.

The following discussion emphasizes some of the more widely agreed upon ideas. MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons. Update 12/2/15: We’ve now followed up on this story: The more we learn about memory, the weirder it gets. The original continues below. MIT researchers have shown, for the first time ever, that memories are stored in specific brain cells. By triggering a small cluster of neurons, the researchers were able to force the subject to recall a specific memory. By removing these neurons, the subject would lose that memory. As you can imagine, the trick here is activating individual neurons, which are incredibly small and not really the kind of thing you can attach electrodes to. Now, just to temper your excitement, we should note that MIT’s subjects in this case are mice — but it’s very, very likely that the human brain functions in the same way.

In the experiment, MIT gave mice an electric shock to create a fear memory in the hippocampus region of the brain (pictured above) — and then later, using laser light, activated the neurons where the memory was stored.

Types of Learning & Neuroplasticity

Fearful Memories Passed Down to Mouse Descendants. From Nature magazine Certain fears can be inherited through the generations, a provocative study of mice reports. The authors suggest that a similar phenomenon could influence anxiety and addiction in humans. But some researchers are sceptical of the findings because a biological mechanism that explains the phenomenon has not been identified.

According to convention, the genetic sequences contained in DNA are the only way to transmit biological information across generations. Random DNA mutations, when beneficial, enable organisms to adapt to changing conditions, but this process typically occurs slowly over many generations. Yet some studies have hinted that environmental factors can influence biology more rapidly through 'epigenetic' modifications, which alter the expression of genes, but not their actual nucleotide sequence.

Heritable traits Studying the biological basis for those effects in humans would be difficult.

Long term memory

Holiday Lectures on Science. Morris Water Maze Test for Learning and Memory Deficits in. The Morris Water Maze is a behavioral task to test hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. It has been widely used in the study of neurobiology, neuropharmacology and neurocognitive disorders in rodent models. Date Published: 7/20/2011, Issue 53; doi: 10.3791/2920.

Working memory. Mem Models & General Explanations. Stress-Induced Impairment of a Working Memory Task: Role of Spiking Rate and Spiking History Predicted Discharge. Abstract Stress, pervasive in society, contributes to over half of all work place accidents a year and over time can contribute to a variety of psychiatric disorders including depression, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Stress impairs higher cognitive processes, dependent on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and that involve maintenance and integration of information over extended periods, including working memory and attention. Ben Thomas: How Stress Shatters Your Memory. Let's try a quick experiment. How repeated stress impairs memory. Anyone who has ever been subject to chronic stress knows that it can take a toll on emotions and the ability to think clearly.

Now, new research uncovers a neural mechanism that directly links repeated stress with impaired memory. Fear: Replacing Memories. January 04, 2010 The human brain goes through a complex process to form and consolidate memories. Fearful Memories Passed Down to Mouse Descendants. Morris Water Maze Test for Learning and Memory Deficits in. Neuroscientists wipe specific memories, permanently. HOT ON THE TRAIL OF FLASHBULB MEMORY. Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) Is photographic memory real? If so, how does it work? Table of Contents — September 2012, 19 (9)

Memory Disorders. Holiday Lectures on Science. Misinformation and Its Correction Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing. Dislodging Misinformation.