Memory

Breakthrough chip mimics human brain function

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 17, 2011   View Article

The day that computers outsmart their human overlords may yet lie in the distant future, but a new computer chip that mimics the basis of learning and memory in the brain is a critical step towards that moment.

“We are not talking about recreating a whole brain at this point. We have to start with one system,” Chi-Sang Poon, a research scientist in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, told me Wednesday.

Grow a new language in your head

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: June 23, 2011   View Article

For adults, learning a new language is often a long, frustrating process that inevitably ends up in failure. A memory expert and a neuroscientist hope to change that with a new online software package designed to make learning the vocabulary of a foreign language fast, fun and rewarding.

“Really good successful learning needs to be vivid, imaginative and creative. It needs to be active. And if you can make it a bit social, that’s great,” Greg Detre, a neuroscientist and co-founder of Memrise, the online destination to learn foreign words quickly, told me today.

Moths Remember Lessons Learned While Caterpillars

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 5, 2008   View Article

Adult moths can remember their “childhoods” as caterpillars, a new study has found.

Baboons, Birds Remember Hundreds of Photos

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 7, 2006   View Article

Pigeons and baboons can remember hundreds of images and store them in their brains for at least a year, according to a new study.

Over a five-year period pigeons in the test were able to learn and recall between 800 and 1,200 photographs before maxing out their thumb-sized brains.

Heart Drug May Block Stress of Traumatic Memories

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 29, 2005   View Article

Memories of wailing sirens, mangled bodies, and smoldering debris in the wake of this month’s terrorist attacks in London and Egypt will produce widespread distress in thousands of people.

Can a common drug snuff out the debilitating emotions these memories trigger?

Researchers say the beta-blocker propranolol, commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure and heart problems, disrupts the way the brain stores memories.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach