Our ability to selectively forget distracting memories is shared with other mammals, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. The discovery that rats and humans share a common active forgetting ability – and in similar brain regions – suggests that the capacity to forget plays a vital role in adapting mammalian species to their environments, and that its evolution may date back at least to the time of our common ancestor.
Scientists have identified a key chemical within the ‘memory’ region of the brain that allows us to suppress unwanted thoughts, helping explain why people who suffer from disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and schizophrenia often experience persistent intrusive thoughts when these circuits go awry.
A brain network previously associated with daydreaming has been found to play an important role in allowing us to perform tasks on autopilot. Scientists at the University of Cambridge showed that far from being just ‘background activity’, the so-called ‘default mode network’ may be essential to helping us perform routine tasks.
Most of us can quote snatches of poetry - but which poems can we recite in their entirety? In a survey of memorised poetry, Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy-cat came top, and some people know all 143 verses of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. There are remarkable benefits of having a poem in your head.
A ‘brain training’ game developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge could help improve the memory of patients in the very earliest stages of dementia, suggests a study published today in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.
Modafinil, a drug used to treat narcolepsy – excessive daytime sleepiness – can improve memory in patients recovering from depression, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. The findings, published today in the journal Biological Psychiatry: CNNI, result from a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and offer hope of a treatment for some of the cognitive symptoms of depression.
Overweight young adults may have poorer episodic memory – the ability to recall past events – than their peers, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge, adding to increasing evidence of a link between memory and overeating.
Intentionally recalling memories may lead us to forget other competing experiences that interfere with retrieval, according to a study published today. In other words, the very act of remembering may be one of the major reasons why we forget.
A study led by Professor James Russell shines a light on the phenomenon of 'infantile amnesia'. He argues that children's ability to recall events depends on their being able to unify the environmental elements of when, what and where. Most children develop this ability aged between two and three.
By aiming to discover the UK’s most memorised poems, a new research project – backed by a former Poet Laureate – will explore the poems that live in our collective memory, and the value of keeping poetry in our heads and hearts instead of just the page and screen. Is there a poem inside your head?