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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2answers
116 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 ...
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2answers
156 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 ...
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2answers
44 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 ...
2
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1answer
395 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
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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
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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 ...
4
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1answer
96 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 ...
0
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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 ...
2
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3answers
123 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 ...
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2answers
90 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 ...
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1answer
38 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
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0answers
29 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 ...
2
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
2
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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 ...
4
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0answers
54 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
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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
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0answers
79 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 ...
2
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2answers
371 views

Is it possible to permanently improve long-term memory?

Many similar questions here ask either about working or short-term memory, or about various tricks and techniques to efficiently remember information. My question is, is it possible to improve the ...
3
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1answer
42 views

Is there any research showing success of teaching with smell?

Cognitive science holds that smell is the sense that has the strongest ability to trigger memories. It is discussed in awe. We see anecdotes such as the sudden striking memory of sitting in your ...
3
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1answer
329 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
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0answers
57 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
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4answers
636 views

What are the mathematical models of memory?

Are there mathematical models of memory in humans or animals? I want to know how neuroscientists use mathematics to describe memory in living creatures. How do neuroscientists model memory and show ...
1
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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
68 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 ...
14
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5answers
647 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Do different methods of testing memory for character sequences result in different brain activation?

Assume a certain sequence of N characters, displayed on a screen one by one, that should be memorized. The speed of the display is such that it doesn't produce much extra stress. You may assume that ...
4
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1answer
70 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 ...
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0answers
23 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. ...
2
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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 ...
5
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1answer
216 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? ...
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, ...
8
votes
2answers
630 views

Which equation is Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve and what do the constants represent?

First off, I've come across two different forgetting curve equations. $$R = e^{-\large \frac{t}{s}}$$ where $R$ is retention, $t$ is time and $s$ is strength can be found on Wikipedia. And $$b = ...
2
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1answer
86 views

How did Ebbinghaus decide on his number of words in a series?

Herman Ebbinghaus discovered the forgetting curve, by memorizing series of non-sensical syllables like "zod", "byh", "tef", etc., and than seeing how long it took to forget them. The results are ...
7
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2answers
571 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Enhance recollection abilites

I hope this is a good way of asking this question. I am not generally the guy with the best memory out there, so I looked a bit into it and I am concluding my recollection phase is the weakest. It's ...
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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 ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Is implicit and explicit memory a useful distinction?

In principle I understand the distinction. Implicit memory is not consciously recollected but has an automatic character i.e. while I'm solving a task in math, I'm automatically using the concept of ...
2
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0answers
32 views

What causes varying degrees of recall of text when speaking aloud versus mentally?

Background: When i try to recall some memorised passages from a book, I find that some memories are best recalled when i speak aloud and some when i speak inaudibly in my mind. What causes varying ...
2
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2answers
186 views

Is the ability to discern between living and non-living things learnt or innate?

This question What optical features do we use to distinguish “life” from “non-life”? on Philosophy SE prompted me to write this question. The question poses, do we recognise a living thing, from ...
2
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1answer
160 views

What is the typical relationship between time and remembering details of events from the past?

When I try to recall details for the past few days, I can recall today's events well, yesterday's events less well, and when it comes to the day before, things start to be fuzzy and this is as fuzzy ...
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0answers
75 views

Optimal learning time per day [closed]

Is there any 'value' for optimal learning time per day? I'm thinking of something like attention span, but more general.
3
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1answer
1k views

Why do humans' eyes enter an unfocused gaze when recalling a memory or imagining something?

The question is self-explanatory (I hope). Is this trait unique to humans? Does the direction of the unfocused gaze indicate anything about which physical part of the brain is being utilized? Is ...
4
votes
3answers
712 views

What exactly is IQ, and how to develop or improve it?

Some people are said to have exceptionally high IQ. What exactly is that supposed to mean? Is it possible to develop high IQ if one doesn't have it? If yes, then how?
3
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2answers
313 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
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0answers
50 views

Why do people remember things when they stop trying to remember? [duplicate]

I posted this question on SE English: Antonym for ameliorate I had been trying to recall a word and it's recollection kept evading me. I remembered the word as soon as I posted the question; which ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

How does chronic stress improve memory processes?

There seems to be more information on the detrimental effects of stress on memory. There is evidence to the contrary. Stress effects on memory: an update and integration. Schwabe L, et al doi: ...
14
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2answers
453 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 ...
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2answers
112 views

Retrieving information: how can we know so fast that we don't know something?

If someone asks us something that we don't know, how can we know so fast that that's the case? Shouldn't we spend a considerable amount of time scanning our memories until we realize the information ...
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0answers
117 views

Is abstract knowledge incompatible with literal memorization?

Let me describe 2 interesting cases : Solomon Shereshevsky (Luria, 1968 - the Mind of a Mnemonist) had an almost perfect literal memory. He remembers strings of hundreds of digits for years after ...