background preloader

How Our Brains Make Memories

How Our Brains Make Memories
Sitting at a sidewalk café in Montreal on a sunny morning, Karim Nader recalls the day eight years earlier when two planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. He lights a cigarette and waves his hands in the air to sketch the scene. At the time of the attack, Nader was a postdoctoral researcher at New York University. He flipped the radio on while getting ready to go to work and heard the banter of the morning disc jockeys turn panicky as they related the events unfolding in Lower Manhattan. Nader ran to the roof of his apartment building, where he had a view of the towers less than two miles away. He stood there, stunned, as they burned and fell, thinking to himself, “No way, man. In the following days, Nader recalls, he passed through subway stations where walls were covered with notes and photographs left by people searching desperately for missing loved ones. Nader believes he may have an explanation for such quirks of memory.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-our-brains-make-memories-14466850/

Related:  Learning/pleassurePsychologyMemorymemory

Making Memories, One Lie at a Time - SPONSORED CONTENT presented by University of California How certain are you that your memories are real? That question drives the research of Elizabeth Loftus, a professor of psychology and law at University of California, Irvine. Loftus has devoted her career to the study of memory: How it’s formed, how it’s stored, how it can be altered—and how it can be fabricated. And her findings might surprise anyone who’s convinced that their memories are infallible. Weight Loss Improves Memory John Gunstad, an associate professor in Kent State University’s Department of Psychology, and a team of researchers have discovered a link between weight loss and improved memory and concentration. The study shows that bariatric surgery patients exhibited improved memory function 12 weeks after their operations. “The initial idea came from our clinical work,” Gunstad said.

Scientists discover how the brain encodes memories at a cellular level (Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory. The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other. "When we learn new things, when we store memories, there are a number of things that have to happen," said senior author Kenneth S. Kosik, co-director and Harriman Chair in Neuroscience Research, at UCSB's Neuroscience Research Institute. Kosik is a leading researcher in the area of Alzheimer's disease.

Echoic Memory: Definition, Lesson & Quiz In this lesson you will learn about a specific sub-type of sensory memory referred to as echoic memory. Following the lesson you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge with a short quiz. Definition Echoic memory is one type of sensory memory process. Specifically, echoic memory is sensory memory associated with auditory information received from the environment. The term echoic stems from the word echo, which is in reference to the brief echo, or the reverberation of sound that is transmitted neurologically via this type of sensory memory. 10 Amazing Facts About Albert Einstein's Life 1. Einstein started talking in the age of 4 but still he wasn’t fluent till the age of 9. His parents were very much worried of this but he wondered them a night while taking dinner he said “The Soup is too hot”. When his parents asked why he didn’t talk before, he replied “Because up to now everything was in order.

Gestalt psychology Gestalt psychology or gestaltism (German: Gestalt – "shape or form") is a theory of mind of the Berlin School. The central principle of gestalt psychology is that the mind forms a global whole with self-organizing tendencies. This principle maintains that the human mind considers objects in their entirety before, or in parallel with, perception of their individual parts; suggesting the whole is other than the sum of its parts. Gestalt psychology tries to understand the laws of our ability to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions in an apparently chaotic world. In the domain of perception, Gestalt psychologists stipulate that perceptions are the products of complex interactions among various stimuli.

How Friends Ruin Memory: The Social Conformity Effect Humans are storytelling machines. We don’t passively perceive the world – we tell stories about it, translating the helter-skelter of events into tidy narratives. This is often a helpful habit, helping us make sense of mistakes, consider counterfactuals and extract a sense of meaning from the randomness of life. But our love of stories comes with a serious side-effect: like all good narrators, we tend to forsake the facts when they interfere with the plot.

The story of the self Memory is our past and future. To know who you are as a person, you need to have some idea of who you have been. And, for better or worse, your remembered life story is a pretty good guide to what you will do tomorrow. Iconic Memory: Definition, Examples & Quiz In this lesson you will learn about a specific type of memory called iconic memory. Following completion of this lesson you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge with a short quiz. Definition Iconic memory is sensory memory that's taken in via the visual system. How Memory Works: 20 Psychological Insights Find out how memory twists, pops, distorts, persists and decays, along with the odd tip on how to improve it. “You think you have a memory; but it has you!” —John Irving. Irving’s quote nicely captures our hunch that we are slaves to our memories. Will I recall someone’s name? What moment from my past will come back to delight, perplex or daunt me?

Memory in the Brain [Interactive] Although most people think of memory as a vault for storing information, it is more like a seamstress who stitches together logical threads into scenes that make sense. In this view, a good memory is therefore not one that holds lots of data but that can deftly separate what is useful from what could distract or upset you. Getting rid of what is not necessary—forgetting—is thus an important part of memory and of thought. It is also critical to emotional wellbeing. To make memories, new neurons must erase older ones Short-term memory may depend in a surprising way on the ability of newly formed neurons to erase older connections. That's the conclusion of a report in the November 13th issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, that provides some of the first evidence in mice and rats that new neurons sprouted in the hippocampus cause the decay of short-term fear memories in that brain region, without an overall memory loss. The researchers led by Kaoru Inokuchi of The University of Toyama in Japan say the discovery shows a more important role than many would have anticipated for the erasure of memories. They propose that the birth of new neurons promotes the gradual loss of memory traces from the hippocampus as those memories are transferred elsewhere in the brain for permanent storage. Although they examined this process only in the context of fear memory, Inokuchi says he "thinks all memories that are initially stored in the hippocampus are influenced by this process."

Related:  joanna007