Summary of “Exercise Your Brain to Improve Memory in Retirement”

You can strengthen certain memory skills, and improve your overall brain health and cognitive function.
Brain training games are widely advertised, but the benefits are limited.
Memory games may improve your memory slightly, and language games may boost your language ability a bit, but there’s no proof yet of any major changes beyond that, says D.P. Devanand, director of geriatric psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
Research does prove that taking care of your overall brain health helps improve your brain function and memory.
A healthy brain actually begins with your heart, Devanand says.
Being social helps, because social interaction stimulates the brain.
A recent Johns Hopkins University study showed that seniors who tutored in Baltimore schools had improved brain performance.
Keep your brain active by taking classes to learn new skills or teach yourself to use new technology.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Quiet Revolution in Botany: Plants Form Memories”

How, when, and why they form these memories might help scientists train plants to face the challenges-poor soil, drought, extreme heat-that are happening with increasing frequency and intensity.
Studying what might be called plant cognition in part because of its association with pseudoscience, like the popular 1973 book The Secret Life of Plants.
One of the most well-understood forms of plant memory, for example, is vernalization, in which plants retain an impression of a long period of cold, which helps them determine the right time to produce flowers.
After a day or two of chilling, the scientists could still “De-vernalize” the plants, but after four days, that possibility had vanished-the plants remained vernalized.
Scientists have now reported plenty of examples of plant memory formation, but naturally they are less likely to publish results of experiments where plants could potentially form memories but don’t.
Beet plants and wheat plants have their own molecular mechanisms of vernalization, which serve the same function but evolved independently.
“Since we don’t see memories all that often maybe plants don’t want to remember things all the time. Maybe it’s better to put their energies elsewhere.” Even when memories do form, they can fade.
The plants that had been trained to associate the two stimuli grew toward the fan; the plants that had been taught to separate them grew away from the airflow.

The orginal article.

Summary of “11 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory”

Whether you want to be a Jeopardy! champion or just need to remember where you parked your car, here are 11 things you can do right now to turn your mind from a sieve into a steel trap.1.
Studies have shown that 8 seconds is the minimum amount of time it takes for a piece of information to go from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.
A different study found that women who kept fit over six months significantly improved both their verbal and spatial memory.
Studies have found that the processes your brain goes through while you’re asleep actually help you remember information better the next day.
Large, bold fonts may actually hurt your ability to remember, as studies found that when asked to memorize a list of words, people predicted they would recall bold words easier than non-bold words, and therefore studied them less, leading to the opposite result.
Studies have found that people do better on both visual and audio memory tasks if they are chewing gum while they do them.
One of the weirdest and most effective ways to remember something is to associate it with a visual image.
In studies, people who were given a doodling task while listening to a boring phone message ended up remembering 29 percent more of what was on the tape than people who just sat still and listened.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Total Recall: The People Who Never Forget”

The HSAM subjects turned out to be far better than people with average memories at recalling long-past autobiographical data; in memories that could be verified, they were correct 87% of the time.
Significantly, research shows that people with average memories are bad at temporally placing remembered events – we don’t have a sense of whether that thing happened two weeks ago or two months ago.
Plenty of people rehearse their memories and don’t have HSAM, and plenty of people with OCD don’t have incredible recall of their autobiographical memories.
Despite their amazing recall there is one way that HSAM subjects are just like everyone else – they are just as prone to memory “Distortions”, the editing, assumptions, conflation of time, and other discrepancies that are part and parcel of making memories.
In a study published in 2013, Dr Lawrence Patihis, a memory researcher at the University of Southern Mississippi working with scientists at UCI, asked 20 HSAM subjects and 38 people with standard memories to participate in a series of tests designed to assess their susceptibility to false memories.
When people with average memory recall an experience, it is formed not only by what they think happened and how they felt at the time, but by what they know and feel now.
First, the initial process of encoding memories – that is, when the brain makes an experience into a memory, translating elements of that experience into a network of neurons and synaptic connections – seems no different for people with HSAM than for the rest of us.
For all the terrible things that people with HSAM can never forget, there are also wonderful memories.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stress and the Social Self”

That’s what pioneering immunologist Esther Sternberg examines in The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions – a revelatory inquiry into how emotional stress affects our susceptibility to burnout and disease.
As just about every socialized human being can attest, interpersonal relationships play a significant role in our experience of stress – either contributing to it and or alleviating it.
A very young child will carry a physical reminder of mother’s embrace: a security blanket, a favorite toy, something soaked with all the smells of home and love The engagement ring and wedding band have the power in an ounce of gold to evoke the memory of the beloved We are all tethered to our social worlds by invisible but steel strong wires.
The persons who are the object of such feelings can take on gigantic proportions in our minds and dominate our whole social and emotional outlook, coloring every corner of our lives, until, through monumental effort, or simply through gradual erosion of time, they recede again to their rightful place and size.
The social world can activate the stress response, or it can tone it down.
Whole industries are based on the power of such social bonds: romance novels, movies, cosmetics, fashion, advertising, popular songs.
This unique pattern of hormonal stress response predisposes socially stressed mice to herpes infection.
In the remainder of the wholly illuminating The Balance Within, Sternberg goes on to explore the neurobiological underpinnings of this emotional machinery, the role of our psychological patterning in our physiological predisposition to disease, and how we can begin to rewire our response to stress.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Brain Damage Saved His Music”

Galarza’s astonishment, like that of medical scientists and music fans, arises from the fact that Martino recovered from surgery with a significant portion of his brain and memory gone, but his guitar skills intact.
It looked like “a bundle of worms,” said Frederick Simeone, the surgeon who saved Martino’s life, in a 2009 documentary, Martino Unstrung: A Brain Mystery.
Paul Broks, a British neuropsychologist, co-writer of the documentary Martino Unstrung, and a co-author of the World Neurosurgery report, has said Martino’s surgery may have had “Nonspecific effects” on the areas that store and activate episodic memory, and those effects “Subsided as the brain readjusted physiologically post-surgery.”
In his 2014 report, “Jazz Improvisation, Creativity, and Brain Plasticity,” Duffau suggested that Martino’s language and music functions likely shifted from his left hemisphere to a more distributed orientation, incorporating part of the interior occipital lobe, which is normally dedicated to processing visual information.
Martino looked at a black void on one of his brain images.
Omigie echoes the point that Martino’s brain, long before it hemorrhaged or Martino even knew about his tangled veins, reorganized itself in a way that might shield it from damage.
Whatever brain mechanisms may have led to Martino’s revival, both Omigie and Broks, the neuropsychologist who spent months with Martino for the filming of Martino Unstrung, felt compelled to add that science couldn’t leave out the work and determination of the guitarist himself.
In a scene in Martino Unstrung, Martino looked at his MRI brain images.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Author and CEO Meik Wiking Shares 7 Tips for Creating Happier Travel Memories”

Happiness Research Institute CEO Meik Wiking shares how we can make the most of our time on the road. Meik Wiking is an author and the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, a think tank based in Copenhagen.
“Travel is about being brought out of your routine,” Wiking says.
“It’s experiencing new things, new culture, new food, new people.And that’s the quick route to [making] memories: novel experiences. There’s nothing wrong with going back to the same place over and over again. But if we want a trip to stand out and be memorable, we have to seek out new experiences.”
The right kind of stress can help cement moments in our memories.
As Wiking explains, “People remember emotions. When they do something that frightens them a little bit, it gets the adrenaline pumping.”
“It’s good to ‘outsource’ some of our memories-the photos, the soundtrack,” Wiking says.
“So you might want to finish on a high,” Wiking says.
“Photos can trigger your memory five, 10, 20 years down the line. Pick the top photos-the happiest memories, the best experiences you had-and bring them into print.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The forgotten part of memory”

“What is memory without forgetting?” asks Oliver Hardt, a cognitive psychologist studying the neurobiology of memory at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
“To have proper memory function, you have to have forgetting.”
Researchers are still pinpointing the details, but they know that autobiographical memories – those of events experienced personally – begin to take lasting form in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, in the hours and days that follow the event.
Much is still unknown about how memories are created and accessed, and addressing such mysteries has consumed a lot of memory researchers’ time.
It’s a remarkable oversight, says Michael Anderson, who studies cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Every species that has a memory forgets. Full stop, without exception. It doesn’t matter how simple the organism is: if they can acquire lessons of experience, the lessons can be lost,” he says.
Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is involved in moderating a host of behaviours in the fly brain, and Davis proposed that this chemical messenger might also play a part in memory.
If forgetting is truly a well-regulated, innate part of the memory process, he says, it makes sense that dysregulation of that process could have negative effects.
More memory researchers are shifting their focus to examine how the brain forgets, as well as how it remembers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Art and Science of Remembering”

“Every time a memory is retrieved, that memory becomes more accessible in the future,” says Purdue University psychologist Jeffrey Karpicke, who adds that only in recent years has it become clear just how vital repeated retrieval is to forming solid memories.
Making memories stickKarpicke and colleagues have shown that practicing retrieval, such as taking multiple quizzes, is far superior in creating solid memories than doing rote memorization.
If you were to use the Memory Palace technique to remember your lines, you might take a walk through your home and associate the fridge with an unusually frigid winter storm.
Modern memory competitions, in which participants memorize entire poems or the order of several shuffled card decks, have resurrected the Memory Palace technique.
Joshua Foer, a science journalist, covered the United States Memory Championship in 2005.
“As bad as we are at remembering names and phone numbers and word-for-word instructions we have really exceptional visual and spatial memories,” Foer says.
“Great memories are learned. But if you want to live a memorable life, you have to be the kind of person who remembers to remember.”In his bestselling book Moonwalking with Einstein, Foer says all memory champions like himself will claim that they actually have average memories.
“Rather, we found that superior memorizers used a spatial learning strategy, engaging brain regions such as the hippocampus that are critical for memory and for spatial memory in particular.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Animals do have memories, and can help us crack Alzheimer’s”

Using our own cognitive superpowers, we now know that we were spectacularly mistaken – and a memory champ from the animal world might even help us improve how we treat Alzheimer’s disease.
The view of animals as primitive beings void of memories and living only in the present had its roots in a 400-year-old idea still often taught and debated in introductory Philosophy classes.
Where was the evidence, he said, that the hippocampus of other species – the part of the brain where episodic memories are kept and retrieved – could capture memories like our own?
In the past decade, researchers studying animals from the far corners of the animal kingdom – western scrub-jays, dolphins, elephants, even dogs – have come to the same conclusion: at least some animals are capable of these human-like memories of past experience.
Some of the most persuasive evidence to date of animals reliving the past comes from Crystal’s own studies of episodic memories in rats.
Subsequent tests confirmed that their memories stuck with them, and withstood interference from other memories.
Studies in dolphins by other researchers in 2018 showed that the hippocampus fired up when the animals were replaying a memory, confirming that it coordinates memory replay and further challenging Tulving’s view that the hippocampus in animals can’t handle episodic memories.
If rats with episodic memory can help to crack the Alzheimer’s code, this thief of the past might finally be vanquished.

The orginal article.