November 13, 2011 |
A concert cellist whose memory was virtually wiped out by a brain infection may no longer remember the names of the composers whose work he once played before admiring audiences. But he can remember and recognize virtually every note of their compositions, and even more remarkably, can learn and commit to memory new pieces of music he did not know before a raging case of herpes encephalitis robbed him of his ability to recognize most of his family, recall details of his homeland or remember details of his own life before his illness.
November 14, 2011 |
Around the time of menopause, many women complain of mental slippage. But, as if to inflict some perverse trick upon them, cognitive scientists have found that they actually perform no more poorly than women who do not have such complaints. (Reassuring in a way: You're not losing your memory, but you may be losing your mind.) A new study finds that both the women who complain of memory problems and the cognitive scientists are right. These women haven't fallen behind -- not yet at least-- because their brains are working harder to keep up. The study, presented Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience's yearly confab -- held this year in Washington, D.C. -- recruited 22 healthy women with an average age of 57, all post-menopausal.
September 14, 2010
Say that you've been glued to coverage of the U.S. Open tennis tournament for the last two weeks. Today, you go to hit with a friend, and are incredulous when you blow a cross-court volley you felt sure you had mastered. You're flustered by your inability to serve with the sizzle you distinctly remember you brought to the court when you last played. A group of German and Canadian psychologists have another possibility for you to consider: Perhaps your glowing assessment of your tennis talent is the result of a false memory, induced by watching Roger Federer's five-set duel with Novak Djokovic or the epic match between Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
December 21, 2012 |
Spilt Milk A Novel Chico Buarque Translated from the Portuguese by Alison Entrekin Grove Press: 178 pp., $23 Eulálio d'Assumpção is on his deathbed. A century old, born into the Brazilian aristocracy, he has watched his world change, or crumble, and still he lingers. "As the future narrows," he tells us early in Chico Buarque's deft and moving "Spilt Milk," "younger people have to pile up any which way in some corner of my mind. For the past, however, I have an increasingly spacious drawing room.
December 15, 2003 |
For many years, doctors have been trying to harness the memory-enhancing powers of nicotine without exposing people to the carcinogenic chemicals in cigarette smoke. A nicotine patch could be the answer. Several studies have shown that nicotine can improve attentiveness among patients with attention deficit disorders, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and mild to moderate Alzheimer's.
March 3, 2002
Thanks for printing "The Man Who Remembered Nothing" (by Gordon Steel, as told to Dana Harris, Feb. 3). It is a touching story and beautifully written. Surely we can all learn from Steel's determination to overcome persistent memory loss and develop a career in a field where memory is everything--and from the kind and useful assistance of his friend Jerry Edelstein and the loyal support of his family. Vanda Krefft Santa Monica
November 11, 2006 |
Stimulating the brain with gentle electric currents during sleep boosts memory, German scientists reported Sunday in the online version of the journal Nature. When they applied several currents that mimic natural, slow-oscillating brain waves in sleep, they enhanced the memory of medical students who had done a word-learning task by 8%. The students did not feel any sensation from the currents to the frontal cortex of the brain or any adverse side effects.
December 20, 1999 |
The hippocampus and the medical temporal lobes are critical for a healthy memory. They are involved in the function of the declarative memory, one of two major types of remembering. All declarative memory is conscious, meaning that a person is aware of its retrieval. It includes such tasks as the ability to briefly hold facts and then discard them or to recall episodes from earlier years. The other main type of memory is nondeclarative, or the unconscious retrieval of information.