Smells connect to memories more than other senses

"The smell of fresh chopped parsley may evoke a grandmother's cooking, or a whiff of a cigar may evoke a grandfather's presence," says author.

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  • The right scent can conjure up a memory more powerfully than most anything else.
  • People who lose their sense of smell often develop symptoms of depression.
  • While other senses connect to the brain's memory center indirectly, the olfactory cortex has a direct line.
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    What can Avicenna teach us about the mind-body problem?

    The Persian polymath and philosopher of the Islamic Golden Age teaches us about self-awareness.

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    Philosophers of the Islamic world enjoyed thought experiments.
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    Aphantasia: the rare brain condition that darkens the mind’s eye

    A new study provides validation for the recently identified phenomenon.

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    • Aphantasia, a recently identified psychological phenomenon, describes when people can't conjure visualizations in their mind's eye.
    • A new study published in Cortex compared the visual memories of aphantasic participants with a group of controls.
    • Its results found experimental validation for the condition.
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    Loneliness is wired into the human brain. Here's what it looks like.

    A large study shows changes in the brain scans of lonely people in the area involved in imagination, memory, and daydreaming.

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    • A study of 40,000 participants shows specific signatures in the brain scans of lonely people.
    • Loneliness is linked to variations in grey matter volume and connections in the brain default network.
    • This area of the brain is connected to the use of imagination, memory, future planning, and daydreaming.
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    Crazy dreams help us make sense of our memories

    A new theory suggests that dreams' illogical logic has an important purpose.

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  • If consolidating memories as we sleep is like machine learning, maybe dreams keep our "algorithms" on track.
  • Machine learning is optimized by the injection of a certain amount of nonsense data.
  • Maybe dreams are just weird enough to do the same for us as we sleep.
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