Got an exam coming up? Better start sketching

A new study found that drawing information you need to remember is a very efficient way to enhance your memory. The researchers believe that the act of drawing helps create a more cohesive memory as it integrates visual, motor and semantic information. “We pitted drawing against a number of other known encoding strategies, but drawing always came out on top,”

IBM ups storage for next-gen memories hundreds of times faster than your SSD

A team from IBM Research dramatically increased the storage capacity of an alternative memory structure called phase-change memory (PCM) to 3 bits of data per cell. Many specialists think that PCM is the future, in a way similar to how flash is replacing hard drives.

People pick up and use discarded USB drives they find almost half the time

Portable data storage, such as USB drives, might not be quite as useful or sought after as they once were but they remain an undeniably handy method to carry your data around.

Study hints at a form of bacterial collective memory

A new study found that whole populations of bacteria retain their tolerance to stressors for a much longer duration than individual cells.

Eating sweets with every meal may help your memory

Scientists at the Georgia State University, Georgia Regents University and Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center found that the brain uses sweet foods to form the memory of a meal. The paper shows how the neurons in the dorsal hippocampus — a part of the brain that is critical for episodic memory — are activated by consuming sweets.

First ever optical chip to permanently store data developed

Material scientists at Oxford University, collaborating with experts from Karlsruhe, Munster and Exeter, have developed the world’s first light-based memory banks that can store data permanently. The device is build from simple materials, in use in CDs and DVDs today, and promises to dramatically improve the speed of modern computing.

How your brain puts the “where” and “when” in memories

Each memory relies on three critical elements, those being the “what,” “where” and “when” building blocks. Neuroscientists from MIT have identified a brain circuit — connecting the hippocampus and a region of the cortex known as entorhinal cortex — that handles the “when” and “where” components.

Your memories last as long the neural connections: a long-standing theory now confirmed

Neuroscientists have long posited that memories last as long as the connections in the brain, but putting this theory to test has always proved challenging. Using the latest imaging techniques and sheer innovation, a group at Stanford confirmed this as being true after the researchers literally peered into the brains of mice and studied brain connections as they formed or were replaced. Once the connection was lost, so was the memory.

Bees have false memories too – this might help explain how our own form

Memories aren’t infallible – even for those with photographic memory – so, more often than not, they’ll seem fuzzy. And the older these get, the fuzzier they’re recalled. Mixing names, faces and events in your head can sometimes be embarrassing, but at least we’re not alone. Seems like bees have false memories too, according to a study made by British researchers at Queen Mary University of London. Previously, false memories had been induced in other animals, like mice, but this is the first time natural false memories have been shown to happen. Research like this might help us, in time, understand how false memories are formed and, in a more general sense, how we recall events.

Long-term memory isn’t stored in synapses, meaning it could be restored even when struck by Alzheimer’s

For a while, the general consensus was that long term memories are stored in synapses. A new  UCLA research topples this paradigm after experiments made on snails suggests that synapses aren’t that crucial storing memories as previously believed, but only facilitate the transfer of information someplace else, most likely in the nucleus of the neurons themselves – though this has yet

How the brain transforms bad experiences into long-lasting and unpleasant memories

Really bad experiences, like going through a particularly stressful or frighting situation, are a lot easier to remember than the things we do a day to day basis, or even those special pleasant experiences. That’s because we’re sort of evolutionary geared to remember those particularly nasty experiences so that we might avoid these in the future. A collaborative effort between New York

Nutrients in chocolate improve memory in seniors

Scientists have found that cocoa flavanols, substances found in chocolate, and to a lesser extent in blueberries, red wine, parsley and black tea have a positive impact on the memory of elders. Flavonoids are a class of plant secondary metabolites. Flavonoids were referred to as Vitamin P until 1950, but the term fell out of favor. Though there is ongoing research into the

Long-term shift work Deteriorates the Brain

Long term shift work has a permanent negative effect on the brain damaging cognitive ability and memory, a new study has revealed. The study found clear links between shift work and impairments in memory and thinking (cognition). People who worked in shifts for 10 years or more have, on average, an extra 6.5 years fall in memory as well as thinking skills.

Making Mistakes while Learning facilitates Memory

Topping conventional thinking, a new study found that making mistakes while learning can benefit memory, but only when the wrong answer is close to the right one. Random guesses can actually harm memory of the subject, the study found. The result held true for both young and old adults alike, with profound implications for clinical memory rehabilitation for the elderly.

Mothers teach babies fear through smell

Babies can learn what to fear from the first days of life simply by smelling their distressed mothers, a new study has shown. This doesn’t only work after the pregnancy, but also during it and even before – if a mother experiences something specific which makes her fearful. It’s the first direct observation of this kind – University of Michigan

Scientists erase memory (and then reactivate it) in rats

Researchers have erased and then reactivated memories in rats, profoundly impacting the animals’ reaction to past events. This is the first study ever to demonstrate the ability to selectively erase and then reactivate a memory by stimulating nerves in the brain at frequencies that strengthen synapses, the connection between neurons. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Quite possibly Jim Carrey’s

Young people have HD memories

A new study that looked to compare how working memory differs in young and old people, found that young people are able to retrieve memories in ‘high definition’. However, it’s not the case that young people necessarily remember more than older ones, the researchers at Vanderbilt University who made the study add. It’s just that the younger generations store and

Memories Are Geo-tagged With Spatial Information

Trying to better understand how memories are stored inside a human brain, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Freiburg University used a video game in which people navigate through a virtual town delivering objects to specific locations; they found that brain cells add a geo-tag with spatial information to some memories, and this spacial information is activated immediately before

‘Brain Training’ May Boost Working Memory, But Not Intelligence

Improve your memory, improve your reasoning and observational skills, and many more – brain training games are becoming more and more popular, and it’s not hard to see why – many people want to go to the “brain gym”, giving their mental abilities a boost. But now, a Georgia Tech research suggests that brain training programs might strengthen your ability

Our most fondest and valuable memories are cemented during sleep

A topic of great interest in neurology and psychology is memory. While a lot of efforts have been made towards identifying what mechanisms and processes govern memory formation and retrieval, very few things are understood with respect to its storage. This is because our memories aren’t static, they always shift position and become either more anchored – through repetition for