How Often Are Your Memories Incorrect?
Just weeks ago, one of the largest ever surveys on memory was completed and data are beginning to come in. Our memory of certain events is hardly reliable, say the study's authors.
What's the Latest Development?
Researchers in the UK have just completed one of the largest ever studies of human memory and preliminary results indicate our recall of even basic events is quite fallible. In the study, individuals were shown pairs of words like CUPCAKE and CARDBOARD. Later, they were shown a new but similar word like CUPBOARD and a new dissimilar word like SAWDUST. About 71 percent of the time, individuals would state correctly they had not seen the third and unrelated word before. Only 53 percent of the time would they state correctly they had not seen the third and similar word.
What's the Big Idea?
Memory does not work like a computer, in which a precise file is drawn from a data bank tucked safely away from the influence of other data. Remembering involves a process of reconstruction which requires storing visual information toward the back of the brain. Ironically, recalling past events with accuracy is extremely important to our ability to learn from experience. "To experience the rich, vivid 're-living' of a past event that is remembering, we fit these features together into a representation of what took place."
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It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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