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Posts Tagged "Memory"

Anthropology in Practice

Remembering With Baseball

Don’t tell me about the world. Not today. It’s springtime and they’re knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball. – Pete Hamill I’ve been at a loss for what to say today—particularly as there is no shortage of people who [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Smells From the Past: The Fulton Fish Market

Ed Note: This post originally appeared on The Urban Ethnographer, where it was selected as a ResearchBlogging Editor’s Selection. It has been slightly edited for posting here. It was chosen for publication in The Open Lab competition. It’s been a very hot summer here in New York City. And the city smells. It’s more than [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Don’t Forget Our New E-Book, Remember When? The Science of Memory

Remember When? The Science of Memory

Why can you vividly recall the day your father took you to your first baseball game many years ago, but you can’t remember where you just put the car keys? We tend not to think about it much, but memory is the seat of consciousness. The process of how we remember, how we forget, and [...]

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Guest Blog

A pill to remember

It has happened to everyone. You can’t recall a name or you forget your credit card PIN number. Rather than waiting two weeks for a new one to arrive in the mail, wouldn’t it be great if there were a pill you could swallow to pop that lost memory back into your head? That is [...]

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Illusion Chasers

Daniel Suarez’s Influx Is Super Fluxing Bitchin’!

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I loved the book, and couldn’t—wouldn’t—didn’t—set it down. With Influx, Daniel Suarez becomes the master, and Michael Crichton should be honored by the comparison.

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Illusion Chasers

Sleights of Mind wins the Prisma Prize!

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Sleights of Mind has won the Prisma Prize, an annual science communication award to the best book of the year.

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Illusion Chasers

Apollo Robbins: The Art of Misdirection

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Apollo Robbins (aka The Gentleman Thief) explains and demonstrates the art of misdirection

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Illusion Chasers

Feeling Persecuted? You May Be Delusional.

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Lack of clarity about how the world works is implicated in delusions, along with overly strong—stubborn—beliefs that sculpt perceptual data into conformity.

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Illusion Chasers

The Color of Pain

blue arm

Want to know an effective way to reduce pain from burns? Cover the affected red area, so you are unable to look at it. Ideally, use a blue bandage.

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Illusion Chasers

The Neural Basis of Free Will: Criterial Causation by Peter Ulric Tse (MIT Press, 2013)

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I love Tse’s book. It has literally set me free.

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Illusion Chasers

The Neural Magic of Hypnotic Suggestion

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A new review of the scientific literature studying hypnosis, in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, by Oakley and Halligan, discusses the potential for hypnosis to provide insights into brain mechanisms involved in attention, motor control, pain perception, beliefs and volition and also to produce informative analogues of clinical conditions.

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Illusion Chasers

Join a Think Tank in NYC!

TTT-model

The Think Tank is a mobile cognitive science lab and education station that will harness intrinsic interest in the human brain.

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Illusion Chasers

Neuroscience in Fiction: Proust and Pixar

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The madeleine episode in Proust’s Swan’s Way exemplifies the power of smells and tastes to bring back memories, and has inspired research and further fiction too.

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Illusion Chasers

THE MARTIAL MAGICIAN’S MEMORY PALACE

Magicians sometimes perform seemingly impossible feats of memory, for instance, to remember the order of a “randomly shuffled” deck of cards. To accomplish this, they use well established mnemonic techniques.

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Literally Psyched

If we remember more, can we read deeper–and create better? Part II.

Is memory essential for creativity? Image credit: Philip Bitnar / Koukej Makak Production 2010, Creative Commons.

In 1981, a 30-year-old man was driving home from work on his motorcycle. Maybe it was too dark. Maybe he was going too quickly. Maybe there was something on the road. Maybe his attention wandered. Whatever the reason, the routine trip soon took a traumatic turn: the motorcycle spun off the exit ramp, its rider [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Can a Mnemonic Slow Age-Based Memory Loss?

basketball court - plant artist composite

One of the tragedies of aging is the slow but steady decline in memory. Phone numbers slipping your mind? Forgetting crucial items on your grocery list? Opening the door but can’t remember why? Up to 50 percent of adults aged 64 years or older report memory complaints. For many of us, senile moments are the [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

How to Erase Bad Memories

Courtesy of R. Douglas Fields.

I’ll never forget it. They strapped electrodes to my wrist, cranked up a black dial on a frightening electronic device encrusted with switches and knobs, and shocked me repeatedly with jolts of electricity. No, this was not torture and the memory is not a traumatic one. I was inside the laboratory of Dr. Daniela Schiller, [...]

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Observations

Brains in Boston: Weekend Recap of Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s Annual Meeting

poster at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting

Greetings from Boston where the 21st annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society is underway.  Saturday and Sunday were packed with symposia, lectures and more than 400 posters.  Here are just a few of the highlights. The bilingual brain has been a hot topic at the meeting this year, particularly as researchers grapple with the [...]

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Observations

Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarettes Help Smokers Remember Dangers

graphic cigarette warning label smoker recall message

This September, cigarette packs in the U.S. will be getting a lot more colorful. And a lot more disturbing. By then, tobacco companies will be required to display one of nine graphic health warnings on each pack, to comply with the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. The U.S. has followed dozens of other countries in [...]

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Observations

Spine Tuning: Finding Physical Evidence of How Practice Rewires the Brain

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In kindergarten, several of my friends and I were very serious about learning to tie our shoes. I remember sitting on the edge of the playground, looping laces into bunny ears and twisting them into a knot over and over again until I had it just right. A few years later, whistling became my new [...]

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Observations

Eternal Sunshine Drug Points the Way Toward Counteracting the Agony of Chronic Pain

One of brain researchers’ closest brushes with science fiction in the last 10 years came with the discovery of a chemical that could completely wipe out memory, a molecule that evoked a real-life version of the scenario depicted in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in which a couple undertakes a procedure to [...]

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Observations

Exceptional Memory Explained: How Some People Remember What They Had for Lunch 20 Years Ago

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Researchers from the University of California, Irvine reported in 2006 on a woman named Jill Price who could remember in great detail what she did on a particular day decades earlier. James McGaugh, Larry Cahill and Elizabeth Parker put the woman through a battery of tests and ascertained that she was not using any of [...]

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Observations

Time on the Brain: How You Are Always Living In the Past, and Other Quirks of Perception

I always knew we humans have a rather tenuous grip on the concept of time, but I never realized quite how tenuous it was until a couple of weeks ago, when I attended a conference on the nature of time organized by the Foundational Questions Institute. This meeting, even more than FQXi’s previous efforts, was [...]

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Observations

Eyewitness Testimony Loses Legal Ground in State Supreme Court

As science has long demonstrated, eyewitness accounts are frequently riddled with errors. Human memory in general is far from perfect—working less like a video camera than an ever-evolving collage, studies have shown. But in courtrooms across the country eyewitness testimony of alleged crimes have frequently been enough to convince juries to send defendants to jail—even [...]

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Observations

4 Things Most People Get Wrong About Memory

brain with faulty memory

Human memory has been shown again and again to be far from perfect. We overlook big things, forget details, conflate events. One famous experiment even demonstrated that many people asked to watch a video of people playing basketball failed to notice a person wearing a gorilla suit walk right through the middle of the scene. [...]

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Observations

Memories Are Made of This: Drugs to Boost Recall—or Destroy It

Editor’s Note: The following blog post first appeared May 17 on the World Science Festival’s Web site. U.S. Patent 7,928,070 issued in April of this year for what was simply labeled as a “memory-enhancing protein.” Todd Sacktor, a professor at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, and a panelist at the 2011 World Science Festival’s The Unbearable [...]

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Observations

Tiger sharks can relocate familiar hunting spots from several kilometers away

blacktip reef shark in habitat

Wandering the neighborhood randomly is not usually the best strategy to find a great dinner—especially if you live in a place where such meals are few and far between. The resulting trajectory, known in mathematics as "a random walk," does not always make for the best use of time and energy, particularly in locations where [...]

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PsySociety

Are your 9/11 memories really your own?

911Memorial

I can remember exactly where I was twelve years ago when I learned why the sky was starting to fill with smoke about 30 miles to the west. Though I live in Illinois now, I’m originally from Long Island. In September 2001, I was just beginning the 9th grade at Friends Academy, my new high [...]

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Running Ponies

How to improve snail memories with chocolate

“Seriously, it doesn’t matter how many times you ask me. I’m never going to remember where he said he was going. I don’t even know why you’re still here.” “I just don’t believe you.” “Have you looked in his house yet? That’d be the first place I’d look. Under his bed or something, I don’t [...]

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The Scicurious Brain

Scicurious Guest Writer! Where do hunger and cognition intersect?

ob ob mice

Please welcome this month’s Scicurious Guest Writer, Zarja Muršič!! Imagine it is Sunday morning. The day when you may finally be free in the morning and have time to go get your king-size breakfast, the one you probably should eat every day. You sit down with a big ‘ol Denver omelet, or maybe you love [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Power of Dad

Courtesy of Need2CPhotography via Flickr.

In the 1994 film Junior, a male scientist becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. It’s a rather ridiculous tale, but if any man could be given the superpower of giving birth, my dad should have been the one. I have never met anyone who loved kids and parenting more than my father [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Quick! What Is the Word for a Pair of Opposites? [Video]

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  // Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of the first video in the series written by a guest on this blog, Roni Jacobson, a science journalist based in New York City. [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Take Care of Your Brain—and Your Friendships

Courtesy of Alexms22 via Wikimedia Commons

Fighting back emotion, Tony Dorsett, the former Dallas Cowboys’ running back, told ESPN last fall: “It’s painful, man, for my daughters to say they’re scared of me…it’s painful.” Dorsett said he suffers from memory problems, depression and difficulty controlling his emotions. He said he has even thought about suicide. The likely cause of Dorsett’s distress [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

On TV, Ray Kurzweil Tells Me How to Build a Brain

Ray Kurzweil

I recently interviewed author and inventor Ray Kurzweil about his new book, “How to Create A Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed.” The 58-minute segment aired on December 1, 2 and 3 on the C-SPAN2 program “After Words.” The book’s thesis is that it is essentially possible to reverse-engineer the human brain to create [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How Do You Spot a Genius?

Drawing of Bobby Fischer and chess board

The November/December Scientific American Mind, which debuted online today, examines the origins of genius, a concept that inspires both awe and confusion. Some equate genius with IQ or creativity; others see it as extraordinary accomplishment. As this issue reveals, genius seems to arise from a mosaic of forces that coalesce into a perfect storm of [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Education of Character—Stoking Memory with Stones [Video]

In MindUP, a social and emotional learning program pioneered by actor Goldie Hawn, children learn to be mindful—that is, attuned to the present without judgment. This skill engenders a healthy outlook on life, hones the ability to pay attention and creates a sense of calm, preparing the mind for learning. (For more on the brain [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Educating Character and Other Lessons from Scientific American MIND

Teacher and children breathing

I am happy to be breaking my silence of recent weeks with a preview of the September/October issue of Scientific American Mind. As the summer begins its slow resignation and people anticipate the start of school, our pages revive the ongoing societal debate about the best way to teach our kids. This issue of Mind [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

More Surprises about the Mind

kid smelling flower

Following on my last blog, here are more telling tidbits from the March/April issue of Scientific American Mind. Smelling the past. I don’t give much thought to odors, unless I have to purge one from the kitchen or car. So I had never considered the possibility that my ability to smell affects how I think [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

8 Ways to Forget Your Troubles

Ad on a London Bus. Courtesy of Annie Wade via Flickr.

People have long tried tricks to aid their memories. One of the most useful of these so-called mnemonic devices, I’ve found, involves associating names with word pictures or with other people you know well. I was just at a party, for example, and met a man who shared a last name with someone I’ve known [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Decoding Sexual Desire: Why You’re Into It—or Not

Courtesy of h.koppdelaney via Flickr

Desire. When you have it, nobody questions it. When it is absent, it can be tricky to talk about. After all, the subject is delicate, and what is the point? You probably have little clue what is going on anyway. Luckily, scientists are looking out for you—because it is not even close to being just [...]

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Talking back

Working Memory and The Movies Streaming In Our Heads

Peter Carruthers began his career studying philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of Leeds, an outpost for Wittgenstein scholarship. Carruthers waded through the Austrian-British philosopher’s thinking for the early part of his career, getting a doctorate from Oxford and publishing books on Wittgenstein along the way. He decided at one point to join a [...]

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Talking back

Remember It Well: A New Type of On-Switch for Memory

Nicotine enhances the ability to focus and remember. The alkaloid acts in a similar manner to the brain’s own signaling molecule, acetylcholine. It interacts with eponymous receptors on the surface of nerve cells to regulate signaling in the brain. The role of the nicotinic-acetylcholine receptors throughout the central nervous system is so wide-ranging that new [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Music and Memory: Robert Sherman, Voice of Your Childhood, Dies at 86

Shermans-walt-disney

One of the most influential voices of my childhood, and the childhoods of countless others raised alongside that omnipresent mouse, has died at the age of 86. Robert B. Sherman was a songwriter who, with his brother Richard, wrote some of the most beloved and memorable Disney songs. The Sherman brothers were perhaps best known [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

What Is Classical Conditioning? (And Why Does It Matter?)

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Classical conditioning is one of those introductory psychology terms that gets thrown around. Many people have a general idea that it is one of the most basic forms of associative learning, and people often know that Ivan Pavlov’s 1927 experiment with dogs has something to do with it, but that is often where it ends. [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Guest Post! It’s About Time: Delving Into Animals’ Memories

Editor’s Note: Today’s post, coming appropriately after yesterday’s post on human intuitions about memory, comes from Felicity Muth who blogs at Not Bad Science, and tweets as @FelicityMuth. This post, while it can certainly stand alone, is meant to be read after reading Felicity’s contribution to The Guest Blog. We have known for a number [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Memory: I Don’t Think It Means What You Think It Means. An Interview with Dan Simons.

Do you believe that memory works sort of like a video camera, faithfully recording your experiences so that you can go back later and revisit those memories, captured in pristine condition? Do you believe that if something unexpected walked into your field of vision you’d notice? Can forgotten memories be recalled through hypnosis? If you’re [...]

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