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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18
votes
3answers
344 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a term for trying to remember a word, but only remembering its first letter?

This happens to me frequently. I'll say, "Oh you know that guy... uhh... I can't remember his name. But he starts with a 'Z'." You can remember part of the word but not the whole word. Is there a ...
28
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
6k views

How to reliably measure working memory capacity?

The capacity of human working memory is subject to individual differences. The number of items or chunks a person can retain in their memory may, have profound effects on a variety of other cognitive ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

What are the neural substrates of retrieval induced forgetting?

Retrieval-induced effects It is well known that practicing retrieval of remembered items increases the probability of correctly recalling that item in future tests: the testing effect. Retrieval-...
8
votes
3answers
248 views

How to better remember your dreams?

Often times, I wake up with an amazing, yet fleeting glimpse of a dream I had. I would like to recollect those events I had in my dream, and try to adopt ways to better remember those dreams. There ...
6
votes
4answers
305 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
309 views

Is there a practical limit to the amount of knowledge a human can learn?

There's definitely progressive interference and retroactive interference, which are basically two ways that old memories and new memories can interfere with each other. But on the other hand, do ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the scientific term for unexpected, spontaneous dream recall?

I'm interested if there's a term for spontaneous dream recall. I will try to define the phenomenon I'm talking about. Over 10 years ago, I started to notice that I can spontaneously recall dreams, ...
9
votes
4answers
969 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Are spaced flashcards effective for learning?

Several apps and sites offer flashcard-based learning that repeat the cards you do poorly on over a period of time (the more inaccurate the answer the closer to each other the repetitions are). One ...
12
votes
2answers
879 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
81 views

Is a network of neurons the only factor in memory?

Background I'm actually writing a science fiction novel set a couple decades in the future. Brains are not my field. I've done as much research as I could. In the story, the protagonist finds out he ...
16
votes
2answers
733 views

Does any evidence show that Smartphone users have poorer memory?

An ages old complaint is that new technology harms memory. Why remember something when you can look it up? In a course on Human Memory I distinctly recall an interesting discussion on phones and ...
8
votes
1answer
281 views

Evidence of 'virtually limitless' long-term memory

In his paper, 'What do People believe about Memory?', Professor Svein Magnussen of University of Oslo claims: ... memory science is not aware of any limitation on the amount of information the ...
9
votes
1answer
262 views

Can we draw conclusions about content of thoughts from neural firing patterns?

Can the neural firing patterns of animals be associated with specific kinds of thoughts? (ie Thoughts related to food, mating, or neighborly aggression?) I am curious about the speculations in ...
51
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

Is The magical number 7 still valid?

George A. Miller published "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information" in 1956 and is one of the most highly cited papers in psychology. It ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it possible to improve reading speed and visual comprehension by doing exercises?

Background I'm trying to capture detailed information from the images in my visual memory, mainly text. My daily life requires reading many documents on varying topics. I want to increase my reading ...
15
votes
5answers
772 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
383 views

Does dream recall disturb the processes of memory consolidation?

Psychology in the time of Freud was occupied with dreams. Relaying these to one's analyst was an important part of treatment. Fast-forward to less than 100 years later, and we know so much about the ...
14
votes
2answers
591 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 '...
9
votes
3answers
175 views

Does a person's brain still contain a record of daily events?

Does a person's brain have a record of every event that happened during a person's lifetime? Is it possible to recall any of those events and is it possible to recall those events in detail? For ...
9
votes
3answers
407 views

Is it possible to measure the working memory of a non-human animal?

Is it possible to measure the working memory of a non-human animal? And if so, have there been any studies that have quantified the working memory of animals, and that have compared that to the ...
8
votes
1answer
746 views

What are the purported mechanisms of eidetic memory and why is it comorbid with autism?

Eidetic memory, often called "photographic" or "flashbulb" memory, is often associated with amazing feats of recall. Is the mechanism behind this phenomenon an aberration of the visualization of a ...
5
votes
0answers
108 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

What was his name again…ahh got it!

You all know the situation described in the title. You forgot something and start to search your memory and then after quite a while it jumps right in front of you, out of nowhere. My questions are: ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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
57 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
99 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
266 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
132 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
121 views

Is there a function between loss of memory and time?

I have 2 related questions with regards to memory capabilities and time: "Is there a function (e.g. $e^{-\Delta Time}$) with regards to memory loss?" Everyone is bound to forget over time. Is there ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a “delayed match-to-sample task”?

This question talked about how a "delayed match-to-sample task" can be used to measure an animal's working memory. What is a delayed match-to-sample task and how can it be used to measure working ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

What physical process governs which details are retained in memory?

With long term memory, there is loss of information. For example, we don't seem to retain all the details of every image we see. What is the physical process those details undergo which cause them to ...
4
votes
0answers
76 views

Measuring short-term, long-term and sensory memory in adolescents?

I would like to measure the short-term memory, long-term memory and sensory memory of children between 10 and 15. If possible, I would prefer a single test or battery. What tests are used to measure ...
2
votes
2answers
506 views

Encoding of abstract concepts in memory

When you read a book and you want to remember it you can encode the information into mental pictures with associations. This is a technique for remembering the content. The problem is when you ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Cognitive Models of learning Working Memory usage

Recently in deep learning, there's been a surge in learning how to use memories as part of the optimisation process (i.e. LSTM's and Stacks). However, these aren't really analogous to how a cognitive ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Can a person remember so much details as the guy in the Camus' Stranger?

In the book, while in prison, he lives his days by his memories, thinking of his room, his furniture, the beach, each time recalling more details, imagining walking past it and this recalling took a ...