Tag: memory

How To Hack Your Memory

Memory champions are capable of seemingly superhuman feats of memory, but it’s something we can all do – if you know a few tricks.

Also if you’re on Netflix, check out the documentary Memory Games.

Smart plants: Memory And Communication Without Brains

Evidence of remembering in plants is most evident in their movements. For example, the familiar ability of sunflower flowers to move in a manner that follows the sun is an obvious response to a diurnal light signal.

Their flowers are directed to the easterly direction in the morning and they follow the sun to the west in the evening. During the subsequent night period, the flowers return to face the east.

These return movements in the dark indicate that the flowers not only track the sun, but they anticipate the return of light, even when the light signal has not yet been restored.

The plants remember the coming of morning.

Kalanchoe flowers also show diurnal cycling – being oriented upward during the day and downward during the night. If the plants are transferred to continuous darkness, the flowers continue the diurnal movements for several cycles.

That plants continue cycling without a light signal indicates that the plants remember the daily light signal even after the signal has been discontinued. They remember the cycling of sunlight.

A similar situation is seen in the diurnal movements of leaves in many plants. For example, the leaves of Albizzia show diurnal changes in leaf position during the day and night.

Again, the positional cycling repeats itself, and if one transfers the plant into darkness the cycling of leaf position continues for several day intervals.

The cycling continues without the light signal, again indicating that the plants remember the cycling of light.

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Pass it on: New Scientist

Everything Is Memory

Today we go a little deeper and talk about the mystery of memory.
Check out Cheddar at their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC04K…

From Plato’s Allegory of the Cave to The Matrix, we’ve believed that reality is not exactly what we experience. Can that be because of the fact that we are all living in our own simulations – the conscious experience that our brain creates.

And this imagined reality creates the beliefs that we cling to and create our worldview around.

Scientists Have Created Brain Implants That Could Boost Our Memory By Up To 30%

Scientists have developed a groundbreaking brain implant that can boost human memory.

In recent years, studies have shown that so-called ‘memory prostheses’ can be used to improve memory in rodents and primates, helping them to perform better on cognitive tasks.

Now, researchers have shown for the first time that the technique can enhance human memory, too, by mimicking processes that occur naturally in the brain.

The new study, presented at the Society of Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC this past weekend, found that stimulating a region in the brain responsible for learning and memory can improve performance on memory tasks by up to 30 percent.

Researchers recruited 20 volunteers who were undergoing epilepsy monitoring, in which they were fitted with electrodes targeting the brain’s hippocampus.

Subjects were first asked to participate in a training session, where they were given visual delayed-match-to-sample (DMS) tasks.

Each participant was shown images in a sample presentation, and later had to recall the images during a match phase up to 75 seconds later.

The researchers then modeled the neural recordings from the training session to pinpoint the regions likely activated during the task.

Then, in a second session, the researchers used the implant to stimulate the subjects’ brains with micro-electric shocks based on the model.

In the trials, the technique was found to improve performance by as much as 30 percent.

While prior research has shown similar methods to enhance memory in some mammals, the researchers say it’s the first time it’s been demonstrated in humans.

These studies have yielded a prosthetic system that restored DMS task-related memory in rodents and nonhuman primates, and is now extended to successful memory facilitation in humans,” the authors wrote in an abstract detailing their presentation.

The work has implications for the treatment of memory disorders, suggesting that stimulating the brain based on patterns in a healthy brain could help to improve function, according to New Scientist.

And, it could pave the way for memory-enhancing prosthetics.

Cognitive task performance on MIMO stimulated trials was compared with non-stimulated and random pattern stimulated trials,” according to the researchers.

MIMO stimulation resulted in a 15-25% improvement in DMS task performance in five patients, demonstrating successful implementation of a new neural prosthetic system for the restoration of damaged human memory.”

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Pass it on: New Scientist

Each Time You Recall An Event, Your Brain Distorts It

Remember the telephone game where people take turns whispering a message into the ear of the next person in line?

By the time the last person speaks it out loud, the message has radically changed. It’s been altered with each retelling.

Turns out your memory is a lot like the telephone game, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Every time you remember an event from the past, your brain networks change in ways that can alter the later recall of the event.

Thus, the next time you remember it, you might recall not the original event but what you remembered the previous time. The Northwestern study is the first to show this.

A memory is not simply an image produced by time traveling back to the original event it can be an image that is somewhat distorted because of the prior times you remembered it,” said Donna Bridge, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the paper on the study recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Your memory of an event can grow less precise even to the point of being totally false with each retrieval.”

Maybe a witness remembers something fairly accurately the first time because his memories aren’t that distorted,” she said. “After that it keeps going downhill.”

The published study reports on Bridge’s work with 12 participants, but she has run several variations of the study with a total of 70 people.

Every single person has shown this effect,” she said. “It’s really huge.

The reason for the distortion, Bridge said, is the fact that human memories are always adapting.

Memories aren’t static,” she noted.

If you remember something in the context of a new environment and time, or if you are even in a different mood, your memories might integrate the new information.

For the study, people were asked to recall the location of objects on a grid in three sessions over three consecutive days.

On the first day during a two-hour session, participants learned a series of 180 unique object-location associations on a computer screen.

The next day in session two, participants were given a recall test in which they viewed a subset of those objects individually in a central location on the grid and were asked to move them to their original location.

Then the following day in session three, participants returned for a final recall test.

The results showed improved recall accuracy on the final test for objects that were tested on day two compared to those not tested on day two.

However, people never recalled exactly the right location.

Most importantly, in session three they tended to place the object closer to the incorrect location they recalled during day two rather than the correct location from day one.

Our findings show that incorrect recollection of the object’s location on day two influenced how people remembered the object’s location on day three,” Bridge explained.

Retrieving the memory didn’t simply reinforce the original association. Rather, it altered memory storage to reinforce the location that was recalled at session two.

The results revealed a particular electrical signal when people were recalling an object location during session two.

This signal was greater when the next day the object was placed close to that location recalled during session two.

When the electrical signal was weaker, recall of the object location was likely to be less distorted.

The research was supported by National Science Foundation grant BCS1025697 and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health grant T32 NS047987.

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Pass it on: Popular Science