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Memory

Analysis and Comment (14)

Repeat after me: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall … Repeat after me: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall … Pregnant woman via Shutterstock

Late-stage unborn babies can learn and remember nursery rhymes

As technology advances so does our ability to monitor unborn babies. Now it’s even possible to track how a very young fetus, still in its mother’s womb, learns and remembers basic speech. As a labour and…
I hate cramming for exams. I hate cramming for exams. Tilwe

Forgetful snails could tell us about how our memories work

Snails, like all animals, need to remember – what is good or bad to eat, what might be trying to eat them, and who they recently mated with. All of these things can prove extremely important in the fight…
Recording the small details as soon as possible is critical. Recording the small details as soon as possible is critical. Justin Lane/EPA

Witnesses are forgetting clues to the Boston bombings … quickly

Memories, we know, are fallible, and in the case of acts such as this week’s horrific bombings in Boston, this presents particular problems. How can those charged with gathering eyewitness accounts – and…
Our brains are reorganising even when we don’t physically mimic movements. Our brains are reorganising even when we don’t physically mimic movements. conmike12

We watch and learn the moves – even when we’re immobile

It may seem somewhat intuitive, but learning through observation is one of the most potent ways humans learn a new skill. We see someone moving in a certain way and we copy it. But what happens when the…
Are there things you’d rather not remember? Are there things you’d rather not remember? Megyarsh

Going, going, gone: the where and why of memory erasure

If you could erase your memories, which ones would you choose? As a neuroscientist, one of my raisons d’etre is to achieve, in a way, some form of memory erasure, especially for individuals that suffer…
“Wait a minute. I’ve been here before …” “Wait a minute. I’ve been here before …” PhotoJonny/Flickr

Explainer: what is déjà vu and why does it happen?

Have you ever experienced a sudden feeling of familiarity while in a completely new place? Or the feeling you’ve had the exact same conversation with someone before? This feeling of familiarity is, of…
How do you remember where you’ve been if you don’t have a brain? How do you remember where you’ve been if you don’t have a brain? Tanya Latty

The brainless slime mould that remembers where it’s been

We humans use our large brains to make and store maps of our environment; maps we then use everyday for getting around and for recalling where we’ve been. But we are nothing special – many other animals…
Getting rid of negative memories is increasingly within our grasp. Getting rid of negative memories is increasingly within our grasp. taylor.a

Remembering to forget: how to erase unwanted memories

Memories influence our behaviour for better or worse. A traumatic incident, experienced once, can darken our lives for ever more. Drug or alcohol addiction – driven by remembered rewards – can render the…
We all know the past disappears. We all know the past disappears. FotoRita [Allstar maniac]

Explainer: what is forgetting?

If memory can be defined as “a past that becomes a part of me”, can forgetting be defined as “a past that is no longer a part of me”? Smokers who have abstained for years may not consciously be able to…
Did you forget to lock the door, or just forget to pay proper attention? Did you forget to lock the door, or just forget to pay proper attention? jef safi \ 'pictosophizing

Explainer: what is memory?

Memory is difficult to define without being circular. People often define memory as “something you can remember”. But we cannot deny the existence of a memory when there is no recollection. Sigmund Freud…
Augmentation technologies will challenge what it means to be human. Augmentation technologies will challenge what it means to be human. WebWizard

Augmentation technologies are here but are people listening?

“And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.” William Gibson, Count…
Brain scan technology is finding that some parts of the brain respond more strongly to colour than others. Brain scan technology is finding that some parts of the brain respond more strongly to colour than others. Flickr/dpi

Perceiving colour involves more than meets the eye

For more than 200 years, scientists have known the range of colours we can see means there must be three different types of light-responsive cells in our eyes. These three types of cell, along with the…
Trouble holding on to your memories? A bad night’s kip might be to blame. Trouble holding on to your memories? A bad night’s kip might be to blame. planetchopstick/Flickr

To sleep, perchance to learn

So here it is, another morning. Another day of yawns. Another day of … oh … what was I saying? We all know that if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you don’t function properly during the day. It could…

Research and News (6)

Research Briefs (25)

Snoozing improves waking memory

Sleep helps lock in visual learning, according to new research from Brown University. The study observed the brain activity…

Caffeine gives bees the buzz too

Honeybees may have an advantage over other pollinators – caffeine improves performance. The findings, from Newcastle University…

Don’t forget Facebook

Chatty updates on Facebook are easier to remember than carefully-worded sentences. Researchers from the University of Warwick…

Synchronised brain waves hold visual memory

The brain encodes short-term visual memory with in-sync electrical neural oscillations. Neuroscientists have observed how…

Omega-3 may improve brain function

Healthy young adults could boost their cognitive function and working memory by increasing their intake of omega-3 fatty…

No single seat of memory

In a case study published in the September 2011 issue Cortex, clinical neuropsychologists have reported that a child can…