How memory works — or doesn’t (7)

Memory is one of the great mysteries of our existence. How do impulses jump across millions of synapses in our brains and allow us to visualize events that happened days or years ago, or recall facts that we learned in the past? And why is that phenomenon more evident in elephants and humans than in goldfish? This is the province of neuroscience, which I largely ignore, or at best admire from a distance.

There are some people with extraordinary memories that are notable either for their amazing skills or for missing something that most people take for granted. There are also many kinds of memory. These are the subject of the links that comprise this part of the web site.

When everything changed: Memory, nostalgia and the tragic turning point

A look at how pop culture perceives and expresses crucial historical moments and how our own memories are altered as a result.

The blessings of memory, even now

It is sometimes painful to remember that we remember, especially when new memories are being formed around us and the people we love are incapable of sharing them.

The uncertain science of memory

A detailed suggestion that materialistic explanations are too simplistic to explain baffling mental phenomena — how, for example, ideas pop up in two widely separated places at the same time, or how we retain memories — and that scientists should be investigating non-materialistic areas.

Take mental ‘snapshots’ to help with memory

Another plea for focus as a way of improving memory.

Video: Neuroscientist Nathan Rose on memory, aging, and the brain

Concerned about the increasing number of seniors in the near future, neuroscientists are working on ways to strengthen the ability of older people to hold onto information so that it is readily available for action when needed.

How staying busy can boost your memory

Like many parts of the body, the brain benefits and develops when it is active. Memory improves in people who remain active later in life. But this article comes with one caveat: Don’t overburden the brain.

Deciphering how memory works in the brain – at the level of individual cells

Researchers are scanning spatial relations in the hippocampus to understand how we put memories together.

Scientists reveal how brain combines multiple memories into new insights

A new theory suggests that the hippocampus builds memories with the help of the entorhinal cortex.

Review: Adventures in memory: The science and secrets of remembering and forgetting by Hilde Ostby and Ylva Ostby, translated by Marianne Lindvalle — the fascinating and disturbing ways we remember

One of the most comprehensive links on this web site,  ostensibly a book review but actually a review of dozens of concepts related to remembering, forgetting, and neuroscience.