For questions about the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information in the brain. This tag encompasses research all the way from the molecular level in model organisms to abstract mathematical representations, and includes applied learning paradigms and tasks.

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3
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2answers
119 views

Is learning and memory formation mostly comprised of new synapses forming, or already-existent synapses strengthening?

I'm guessing it may be some combination of the two. If so, which is the more frequent situation? I'm also guessing it varies depending on the type of memory being formed. Let's take for instance, my ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

Study of recollection of drawings based on labels

I remember stumbling across a very interesting study/experiment a few months ago. Now I want to try to find it again. Unfortunately I cannot for the life of me recall the name of the experiment nor ...
8
votes
1answer
119 views

Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?

Right after you wake up from a dream, you seem to be able to remember most if not all of the details. Then, over time, these details fade and often disappear. Is this a form of regression? Why is ...
48
votes
4answers
6k views

Does writing something down help memorize it?

This is a question inspired by this recent question on the Chinese Language & Usage website. Someone asked why they needed to learn how to write Chinese characters, since today we mostly use ...
0
votes
3answers
178 views

Where is knowledge of how the brain works stored?

If we are our brains, and our brains know how they work, this means that this information is stored somewhere in the brain, like the inferior temporal cortex is the part of the brain that recognizes ...
2
votes
2answers
166 views

What is it called to think without language? Are there studies around it?

I think there are two types of thinking: With and without language. For my entire life, in my opinion I have always thought without language. Some ppl say its impossible and that we think with ...
8
votes
1answer
51 views

How actively does your brain physically prune connections?

Is pruning defined as neural apoptosis or are connections (neural synapses) simply separated? At what rate, if known, does this occur in individuals (ages 18+)?
4
votes
1answer
53 views

Reduction of the hippocampus due to childhood neglect/abuse

A Scientific American article, "Childhood Stress Decreases Size of Brain Regions", by Christie Nicholson briefly mentions the implications of childhood neglect and abuse on brain structures. I was ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Difference between real time and old information processing in the brain

Can we differentiate between the following two processes? Brain receives information via senses, such as eye, ear, nose, skin and tongue. That is, vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Brain ...
7
votes
2answers
578 views

Are mnemonics by creating associations good for memory?

I read a book which says that to remember the lists of arbitrary objects, we should take a well-known ordered list (so that you know what is on the first place, what is on the second) and associate ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

What is the name of the condition where you feel like you have been somewhere before?

It happens many times when you visit a place you have never been before, you feel subconsciously you have been there already. And the events and people you are ...
11
votes
2answers
674 views

What form might Jungian archetypes take in the brain?

Modern psychology and psychiatry are very well grounded in scientific principles. Both, however, have a history in various analytical philosophies. Jung had the notion of an archetype, a universally ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

A type of long-term memory where I can remember full dialogues

My female colleague cannot remember a discussion (dialogue) from a couple days ago or even yesterday, much less the full, exact sentences spoken. She jokes about having sclerosis. I can remember many ...
2
votes
3answers
126 views

Is there a method to count objects without a pattern?

Is there a method in mnemonics to quickly find out the number of objects in, for example, a heap of tooth picks. There is this scene in the movie Rain Man, where the autistic protagonist can tell the ...
15
votes
5answers
656 views

Why is storytelling an effective way to transmit information between people?

Parables, fables, myths, whatever you might call them, stories have always been part of human consciousness. Within recent decades, storytelling is recognized as a big component of advertising and ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is remembering a list of words an example of semantic or episodic memory?

I'm having a hard time making a clear distinction between semantic and episodic memory. When presented with idealized examples, I find the breakdown clear; describing a trip to Paris is an example of ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Where do our memories get stored and how are they retrieved again? [closed]

In one of Karl Lashley's 1950 papers, it is pointed out that information is not stored locally in certain area of the brain. Instead, it's stored distributively over the structure of the brain. I'm ...
1
vote
2answers
175 views

Where do our memories get stored and how are they retrieved again?

There is a common knowledge that several brain areas are involved in memory processes and each area is involved in a different aspect of memory. But where do our memories get stored and how are they ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Which are the specifics of a memory that are lost first?

Background: In the last few days, I came across an experience that made me wonder how our brain manages "memory resources". As time progresses further from an experience I've had in my life, I ...
5
votes
1answer
222 views

Does writing something on computer help memorize it?

There is an interesting question on this site: Does writing something down help memorize it? Now my question is, does writing something on computer (i.e. using Word, Notepad, ...) help memorize it? ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

Is multitasking a myth?

Often, the term 'multitasking' is applied to very busy and 'wired' people. There is an adage that women multitask better than men. My question is, do we actually multitask? If so, what are the ...
2
votes
1answer
460 views

What test could I use to measure the short-term memory capacity of a group of people?

I want to start a project about the best schedules for learning activities focused on college students. Since sleeping patterns are totally different in a young adult/teenager, and many of the classes ...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

Are partially forgotten memories still in your brain?

I have read articles such as... http://www.wired.com/2009/09/forgottenmemories/ and they say forgotten memories are still stored in your brain. What about partially remembered memories. For ...
3
votes
0answers
102 views

Does the self-reference effect extend to improved recall of 2nd-person text vs. 3rd-person text?

The self-reference effect has been widely researched in marketing for its ability to improve how favorably consumers remember a message, but less so for its ability to improve recall and learning of ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Effectiveness of spaced learning when the data have personal meaning

There is much study of spaced learning (expanded retrieval, spaced retrieval, spaced repetition system, gradual-interval recall, etc), and much of the discussion is about around the optimal ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

What are the predominant cognitive effects that influence textual learning and recall?

I am a rulebook writer and editor, and I have been digging into the literature for cognitive effects and heuristics that affect one's ability to learn and remember complicated concepts from text. For ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Can dreams be memorised?

Would it be possible to activate the human memory and "access" it by means of encouraging certain hormones, to assist a sleeping body to memorize dreams and later (meaning minutes, days, months or ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Is there any scientific evidence that nootropics improve synaptic plasticity / learning ability? [duplicate]

I'm attempting to learn a very specific skill (perfect pitch) and I'm considering nootropic supplements. While I can find plenty of websites offering these supplements and making big claims, I can't ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Why past events reappear in dreams after a certain delay?

I know that Freud in his "Interpretation of dreams" provides a number of examples of events influencing dreams several days to several months after the event has occurred. For example, a person sees a ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Is there any treatment for cognitive difficulties of patients with Parkinson's disease?

I've read some articles and science papers about Parkinson's disease and found out that many patients often have cognitive difficulties, if not all of them. For memory difficulty, medications to treat ...
5
votes
3answers
217 views

How do memories come up for no apparent reason? Is this evidence that we remember everything?

As I was driving, all of a sudden the name "Holden Caufield" came to my mind. It sounded really familiar. I googled the name and it was the main character in The Catcher in the Rye. The last time I ...
2
votes
3answers
85 views

Does stress impair your short term memory?

I have noticed frequently, when in a very stressful situation (particularly emotional stress), I will forget things very quickly. To give an example: Recently, I got in a heated argument with a ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

Early Alzheimer's and cognitive remediation programs

Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) includes the loss of short term memory including prospective memory. On a physical level brain cells are being destroyed and that disrupts the neural ...
12
votes
2answers
646 views

What is the optimal repetition pattern to maximize long term memory?

Which is the appropriate repetition pattern to aid long term memory, in terms of time between study sessions? I have been reading about Ebbinghaus and doing some related research, but I can't find a ...
4
votes
0answers
55 views

What is the relationship between topographic maps and sensory memory?

Sensory maps are defined functionally: they exist for a certain time window, are overwritten quickly, are generally inaccessible to introspective control. Topographic maps are defined biologically: ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

What brain regions are activated when a dream is remembered?

Some people remember dreams, others don't. The same person can wake up with dream recall one day and without on other days. I know that the association between REM sleep and dreaming was initially ...
4
votes
0answers
80 views

How long could Henry Molaison keep his memory of the present?

I'm talking about Henry Molaison (HM), the famous memory research patient. I hear that he could converse normally with a researcher until he "got distracted", at which point he no longer remembered ...
14
votes
2answers
458 views

Is photographic memory possible?

Photographic memory is a fairly well known phenomena, but is it theoretically possible? In Marvin Minsky's The Society of Mind claims it is a myth: "...we often hear about people with ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Is it good practice to try to recall things when we are tired?

Background. It happens often that, at the end of the day when I return to home, I try to recall past events that took place that day or the day before (memory rehearsal), but surprisingly I find that ...
3
votes
1answer
359 views

Are words and ideas written in a distinctive font easier to remember?

I read that serif fonts have more distinctive characters, and I was wondering if, at the brain level, the fact that something is written with more distinctive characters would be more easily ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Is there difference between a memory of a dream and memory of waking experience?

I'm very interested in dreaming and have pretty good dream recall. This makes me able to recall and distinguish hundreds of experience within my memory and label them as "dreams". I'm trying to ...
8
votes
2answers
132 views

Is it possible to create artificial thoughts in a childs mind

What I mean is, is it possible to create memories in a childs mind, memories which a child grows up to remember as real events, when infact those events never happened in real life? For example: If ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

What is the psychological function of nostalgically reenacting activities from before we were born?

I'm asking specifically about nostalgia for a time before you were born, e.g. the Blitz parties / 40s tea dances that have big in the UK for the past decade, or the popularity of Speakeasy-themed bars ...
14
votes
3answers
347 views

How does the brain learn what something is for the first time?

I'm trying to understand how the idea of what a thing is originates in humans. For example, in computer science, it is possible to know what an object is and what it does, by examining its ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Regarding “a human brain can hold enough information to fill 10 libraries”, can we quantify the memory required for a given task?

It is not the exact phrase, but I have heard variations of this claim. I am wondering whether such claim is supported by a study or experiment. I am also curious if there is a way to sort of vaguely ...
3
votes
2answers
738 views

Can intense multitasking improve fluid intelligence/working memory?

The Dual N-Back task is the only task I'm aware of that has empirical support showing that it improves working memory. It appears to improve working memory through multitasking, although this ...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Is recall for an appropriately color coded string of symbols a good measure of level of synesthesia?

The Wiki page on Grapheme–color synesthesia says: ... one recent study has documented a case of synesthesia in which synesthetic associations could be traced back to colored refrigerator magnets. ...
3
votes
2answers
328 views

Why do people get syllables mixed up when trying to recall words?

This question is related to this question. It could be a dupe, but I am more interested in whether this is a form of "dyslexic" thinking (for want of a better expression)? I posted this question on ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

What percentage of systematic data starts to be considered random

There is a set of 100 different objects in a box. I pull out 99 of them randomly and place them on a table and ask a person to take a look, then I put all objects back into the box. After a short (5 ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

What is the lifetime of the synapse in the mature brain?

I know there is synaptic plasticity in the mature brain. There is a great number of plasticity mechanisms like LTD and LTP, acting on different time scales. Apart from the synaptic weight change, ...