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Memory in the Brain [Interactive]

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. Revisiting bad memories is hardly a formula for happiness, after all. (For more on memory and forgetting, see Scientific American Mind’s special report on memory in January/February 2012.) To learn more about memory and the power of forgetting, see the January 2012 Scientific American Mind. More to Explore8 Ways To Forget Your TroublesLet It GoA Feeling for the PastTrying to ForgetTotaling Recall10 Novels That Will Sharpen Your Mind [Interactive]

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/memory-brain-tour-video/

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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. Reminiscence bump explanations: Why we remember young adulthood better than any other age YanLev/iStockphoto/Thinkstock. Twentysomethings are having a moment. They’re inspiring self-help guides (see Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How To Make the Most of Them Now), hit television shows, Tumblrs-turned-handbooks, and lyrical New Yorker think pieces. What is it about twentysomethings?

Brain's Drain: Neuroscientists Discover Cranial Cleansing System The brain can be a messy place. Thankfully, it has good plumbing: Scientists have just discovered a cleansing river inside the brain, a fluid stream that might be enlisted to flush away the buildup of proteins associated with Alzheimer's, Huntington's and other neurodegenerative disorders. The researchers, based at the University of Rochester (U.R.), University of Oslo and Stony Brook University, describe this new system in the journal Science Translational Medicine today. Anesthesia May Leave Patients Conscious—and Finally Show Consciousness in the Brain Vaughan Bell is a clinical and research psychologist based at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and currently working in Colombia. He’s also working on a book about hallucinations due to be out in 2013. During surgery, a patient awakes but is unable to move. She sees people dressed in green who talk in strange slowed-down voices. There seem to be tombstones nearby and she assumes she is at her own funeral.

Brain's Circadian Clock Disrupted in Depressed People Mind & Brain :: TechMediaNetwork :: May 14, 2013 :: :: Email :: Print Major or clinical depression seems to alter the genes that regulate sleep and waking By Stephanie Pappas and LiveScience 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.

4 Things Most People Get Wrong About Memory Human memory has been shown again and again to be far from perfect. We overlook big things, forget details, conflate events. One famous experiment even demonstrated that many people asked to watch a video of people playing basketball failed to notice a person wearing a gorilla suit walk right through the middle of the scene. So why does eyewitness testimony continue to hold water in courtrooms? A new nationwide survey of 1,500 U.S. adults shows that many people continue to have the wrong idea about how we remember—and what we forget. Here are four common incorrect assumptions about memory, held by some of the survey subjects, that experts say should be forgotten:

Switch Your Brain Into Sleep Mode: On Demand Myths About Sleep Myth One—Missing sleep is okay. Myth Two—Your financial, work or relationship problems keep you from sleeping. Myth Three—You can't influence your brain . Neurons Offer Clues to Suicide A certain type of brain cell may be linked with suicide, according to a recent investigation. People who take their own lives have more densely packed von Economo neurons, large spindle-shaped cells that have dramatically increased in density over the course of human evolution. Researchers in Germany analyzed the roots of suicide in the brain by focusing on a neural network linked with psychological pain, which includes regions such as the anterior cingulate cortex and the anterior insula, where von Economo neurons are concentrated. These cells bear receptors for neuro­transmitters that help to regulate emotion, such as dopamine, serotonin and vasopressin. Because they are found in highly gregarious animals such as whales, elephants and apes—with humans possessing the highest densities—scientists believe they might specifically deal with complex social emotions such as shame.

Turning Adversity into Creative Growth “I create – in order not to cry.” — Painter Paul Klee There’s little doubt that trauma can be immensely painful, often leaving deep emotional and psychological scars long after the stressful experience has passed. But can there be a silver lining? 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.

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.

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