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How Many of Your Memories Are Fake? - Erika Hayasaki

How Many of Your Memories Are Fake? - Erika Hayasaki
One afternoon in February 2011, seven researchers at the University of California, Irvine sat around a long table facing Frank Healy, a bright-eyed 50-year-old visitor from South Jersey, taking turns quizzing him on his extraordinary memory. Observing from outside of the circle, I tape-recorded the conversation as one researcher tossed out a date at random: December 17, 1999. “Okay,” Healy replied, “Well, December 17, 1999, the jazz great, Grover Washington Jr., died while playing in a concert.” “What did you eat that morning for breakfast?” “Special K for breakfast. These are the kinds of specific details that writers of memoir, history, and journalism yearn for when combing through memories to tell true stories. In another office nearby on campus, you can find Professor Elizabeth Loftus, who has spent decades researching how memories can become contaminated with people remembering—sometimes quite vividly and confidently—events that never happened. “Why did evolution do that?” Related:  TOK Human SciencesSer humano

50 Common Cognitive Distortions 3. Negative predictions. Overestimating the likelihood that an action will have a negative outcome. 4. Underestimating coping ability. Underestimating your ability cope with negative events. 5. Thinking of unpleasant events as catastrophes. 6. For example, during social interactions, paying attention to someone yawning but not paying the same degree of attention to other cues that suggest they are interested in what you’re saying (such as them leaning in). 7. Remembering negatives from a social situation and not remembering positives. 8. Believing an absence of a smiley-face in an email means someone is mad at you. 9. The belief that achieving unrelentingly high standards is necessary to avoid a catastrophe. 10. Believing the same rules that apply to others should not apply to you. 11. For example, I’ve made progress toward my goal and therefore it’s ok if I act in a way that is inconsistent with it. 12. For example, believing that poor people must deserve to be poor. 13. 14. It’s not. 15. 16.

The history and future of cool: What does the term mean in 2013? Left three photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Right photo byMerrick Morton/Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Inc. Part 1 of a monthlong series on the history and future of cool. Last month the electro-psychedelic band MGMT released a video for its “Cool Song No. 2.” The very question is cruel, of course, and competitive. If that sounds cynical, cynicism is difficult to avoid when the subject of cool arises now. The standard bearers, however, have changed. Cool has come a long way, literally. Stearns argues that cool’s imperatives of flexibility and fluidity helped Americans escape rigid Victorian morality into modernity and developed along with mass production and mass media as a new individualist ethos. Elvis and James Dean introduced cool to Middle America, but it was the Beat movement that revered it most, putting its queer shoulder to the wheel, even as black poet Gwendolyn Brooks was warning that “We Real Cool” was coming to mean “we die soon.” Yeah, man, that’d be coolsville.

Why some memories last and others fade We are more likely to form lasting memories when there is coordinated activity between two specific brain regions, MRI scans show. “When memories are supported by greater coordination between different parts of the brain, it’s a sign that they are going to last longer,” says Lila Davachi, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science at New York University. It is commonly understood that the key to memory consolidation—the cementing of an experience or information in our brain—is signaling from the brain’s hippocampus across different cortical areas. Moreover, it has been hypothesized, but never proven, that the greater the distribution of signaling, the stronger the memory takes hold in our brain. To determine if there was scientific support for this theory, Davachi and a colleague examined how memories are formed at their earliest stages through a series of experiments over a three-day period. Source: NYU

'I'm Supposed to Be Dead Anyway': An Interview With a Teenage Convict When a judge sentenced then-17-year-old Brogan Rafferty to life without parole last year for aggravated murder, she allowed that he had been "dealt a lousy hand in life." Rafferty's mother, Yvette, was a crack addict. His father, Michael, worked the early shift as a machinist. Rafferty was basically left to raise himself, one school counselor said. Along the way, he got mixed up with Richard Beasley, a family friend--and, it was later revealed, a ruthless murderer who convinced the teenager to help him kill three men. Like most biographies condensed for courtroom drama, this one turned out to leave out much of the nuance and texture of an actual life. I asked Michael about a detail from the trial: as young as 5, Brogan ate breakfast alone and got himself ready for school. So why had Brogan bonded with this second father figure, so tightly that he would help him commit murders? How did you feel about your father when you were growing up? Then the murders began. But I didn't do it. Mr.

Modifying DNA May Wipe Away Old Memories A clean slate—that’s what people suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) crave most with their memories. Psychotherapy is more effective at muting more recent traumatic events than those from long ago, but a new study in mice shows that modifying the molecules that attach to our DNA may offer a route to quashing painful memories in both cases. One of the most effective treatments for PTSD is exposure psychotherapy. Yet this therapy works only for recent memories. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led by neurobiologist Li-Huei Tsai, have now uncovered a chemical modification of DNA that regulates gene activity and dictates whether a memory is too old for reconsolidation in mice. In the new study, published online this week in Cell, the researchers instilled traumatic memories in mice by placing them in an unfamiliar cage and immediately giving them an electrical shock to their feet.

Scottish people's DNA study could 'rewrite nation's history' | UK news A large scale study of Scottish people's DNA is threatening to "rewrite the nation's history", according to author Alistair Moffat. Scotland, he told the Edinburgh international book festival, despite a long-held belief that its ethnic make-up was largely Scots, Celtic, Viking and Irish, was in fact "one of the most diverse nations on earth". "The explanation is simple. He and his colleagues have found West African, Arabian, south-east Asian and Siberian ancestry in Scotland. David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, whose immediate ancestors are from the Caribbean, also revealed at the festival this week that DNA analysis had shown he has Orcadian ancestry – also likely to relate to British involvement in the Atlantic slave trade. One per cent of all Scottish men, said Moffat, have Berber ancestry – why, he says, remains a mystery, though he believes that the penetration of people from the medieval caliphate of Cordoba "must have been immensely important".

Gaming Company Fined $1M for Turning Customers Into Secret Bitcoin Army | Wired Enterprise Image: Valve A gaming software company has been slapped with a $1 million fine after secretly adding bitcoin mining software to a product update earlier this year. E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) — which lets serious CounterStrike players face each other down in anti-cheat modes — infected about 14,000 of its customers with the code, which ended up mining about 30 bitcoins over two weeks last spring. The company blamed a rogue employee, who has since been terminated. It’s still facing a class action over the matter in California. “What transpired the past two weeks is a case of an employee acting on his own and without authorization to access our community through our company’s resources,” ESEA co-founder Craig Levine told WIRED back in May. The settlement was announced today by the New Jersey Attorney General, which says that ESEA will pay $325,000 of the fine upfront, and will only be hit with the rest of the penalty if it’s caught misbehaving over the next decade.

Drugs That May Cause Memory Loss Side Effect How they can cause memory loss: Benzodiazepines dampen activity in key parts of the brain, including those involved in the transfer of events from short-term to long-term memory. Indeed, benzodiazepines are used in anesthesia for this very reason. When they're added to the anesthesiologist's cocktail of meds, patients rarely remember any unpleasantness from a procedure. Alternatives: Benzodiazepines should be prescribed only rarely in older adults, in my judgment, and then only for short periods of time. If you take one of these meds for insomnia, mild anxiety or agitation, talk with your doctor or other health care professional about treating your condition with other types of drugs or nondrug treatments. Be sure to consult your health care professional before stopping or reducing the dosage of any benzodiazepine.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal <map name="admap71632" id="admap71632"><area href=" shape="rect" coords="0,0,728,90" title="" alt="" target="_blank" /></map><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width:728px;border-style:none;background-color:#ffffff;"><tr><td><img src=" style="width:728px;height:90px;border-style:none;" usemap="#admap71632" alt="" /></td></tr><tr><td style="background-color:#ffffff;" colspan="1"><center><a style="font-size:10px;color:#0000ff;text-decoration:none;line-height:1.2;font-weight:bold;font-family:Tahoma, verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif;text-transform: none;letter-spacing:normal;text-shadow:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:normal;" href=" target="_blank">Ads by Project Wonderful! Archives Contact Forum Store! June 16, 2012 Yeah... June 15, 2012 NEW WeeWei episode! June 14, 2012 Soooon... (rss)

How Scientists Are Learning To Shape Our Memory Roadside bombs, childhood abuse, car accidents—they form memories that can shape (and damage) us for a lifetime. Now, a handful of studies have shown that we’re on the verge of erasing and even rewriting memories. The hope is that this research will lead to medical treatments, especially for addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers have known for decades that memories are unreliable. They’re particularly adjustable when actively recalled because at that point they’re pulled out of a stable molecular state. Last spring, scientists published a study performed at the University of Washington in which adult volunteers completed a survey about their eating and drinking habits before age 16. Studies have found chemical compounds that can be used to subdue or even delete memories.Several studies have found chemical compounds that can be used to subdue or even delete memories in mice (and maybe someday in people).

How do we acquire knowledge in the human sciences? Naturalist and Interpretivist approaches Actually, assuming that we can be objective – ie, make value-free judgements whereby both the subjects of an investigation and the investigators do not bring into the study their own personalities, beliefs and feelings – is something that not everyone agrees with. It is true that many scholars think that you can apply the methods of natural science to the study of social behaviour, and treat human subjects just as you do animals or objects in the natural world. Quantitative and qualitative data The difference in method and aim is also reflected in the kind of information both these schools of thought focus on when they are researching a particular issue. Durkheim and Weber Two famous figures (arguably the most famous figures) in human sciences who personified these different approaches were Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) and Max Weber (1864-1920). Inside and Outside methods

Has David Birnbaum solved the mystery of existence? In the summer of 2012, a number of philosophers at British and American universities received a bulky, unmarked package in the post. It contained a 560-page book, written in English but with the Latin title Summa Metaphysica, by an amateur whose name they didn't recognise: David Birnbaum. It isn't unusual for philosophy departments to get mail from cranks, convinced they have solved the riddle of existence, but they usually send stapled print-outs, or handwritten letters; Summa Metaphysica stood out "for its size and its glossiness", says Tim Crane, a professor of philosophy at Cambridge. The book was professionally typeset. It even included endorsements from Claude Lévi-Strauss, the legendary French anthropologist, who described it as "remarkable and profound", and from the Princeton physicist John Wheeler, who once collaborated with Einstein. Then the story grew stranger. But the event itself, on Bard's leafy campus beside the Hudson river, proved disorienting.