Memory

Neurophilosophy

Category archives for Memory

New neurons are needed for new memories

Around 15 years ago, researchers discovered that the adult rodent brain contains discrete populations of stem cells which continue to divide and produce new neurons throughout life. This discovery was an important one, as it overturned a persistent dogma in neuroscience which held that the adult mammalian brain cannot regenerate. Since then, neural stem cells…

Memory lessons from Homer Simpson

In this clip from The Simpsons, Homer explains why he wouldn’t benefit from an adult education course: “How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.” As you watched the clip, multiple brain regions were engaged and acted in parallel…

Anatomy of a false memory

WE BELIEVE THAT memory provides us with a faithful record of past events. But in fact, it is well established that memory is reconstructive, and not reproductive, in nature. In retrieval, a memory is pieced together from fragments, but during the reconstruction errors creep in due to our own biases and expectations. Generally, these errors…

Photo by Einat Adar  Our feathered friends provide us with some beautiful examples of the link between brain and behaviour. In some bird species, groups of cells involved in seasonal behaviours die after they have performed their function, but are regenerated by neurogenesis as and when they are needed. Male songbirds, for example, serenade females;…

Remembering Henry M.

The single most famous case study in the history of neuropsychology is that of an anonymous memory-impaired man usually referred to only by the initials H.M. This patient has one of the most severe cases of amnesia ever observed; he has been followed for over 40 years by more than 100 researchers, and is the…

The term ‘Rashomon effect’ is often used by psychologists in situations where observers give different accounts of the same event,and describes the effect of subjective perceptions on recollection. The phenomenon is named after a 1950 film by the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. It was with Rashomon that Western cinema-goers discovered both Kurosawa and Japanese…