Posts Tagged ‘memory’

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Researchers “Copy and Paste” Fear From One Memory to Another

In this article for Discover Magazine, I explore a new set of experiments that sound like the plot of a bizarre sci-fi movie: Researchers taught a group of mice to fear a certain section of a maze, then electronically copied the mice’s fear from that memory and pasted it onto a different memory! How the hell did […]

Roundtable Round 2

“Engineering a Mind (Part 2)” — Podcast 7: David Saintloth and Wai Tsang

On Episode 7 of the Connectome podcast, we rejoin our two-part roundtable discussion on the nature of intelligence, on the differences between biological and artificial intelligence, and on the ways in which the idea of digital intelligence can inform our understanding of how our own minds work. (Here’s the link to Part 1 of this […]

David Eagleman

“Senses That Bleed” — Podcast 5: David Eagleman

On episode 5 of the Connectome podcast, I chat with David Eagleman, author of the international bestseller Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain. Eagleman’s lab mainly studies the ways our brains encode sensory perceptions – but as you’ll hear, he’s also fascinated by questions on the nature of consciousness, synesthesia, meaning and representation, and […]

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How Your Mind Organizes Reality

In this article for Scientific American, I break down the basics of a new type of mind-mapping project: One that aims to map connections between the meanings we assign to objects in our world. A research team led by Alex Huth showed volunteers hours of video footage of thousands of everyday objects and scenes – […]

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Memories on a Microchip

Are your memories real? How do you know? These sound like questions from a mind-bending thriller – Total Recall, say; or Inception. But this isn’t science fiction. Researchers around the world are implanting memories, turning them on and off – and, according to one team, storing them on microchips. Wow. Okay. Let’s back up here. […]

TRANSHUMAN

Prometheus Unbound

What would you do if you could feel any way you wanted, at will? I’m not just talking about mind-hacks for calming yourself down or getting motivated. I mean, what if you could become drunk, instantly, just by deciding to – and then completely sober up at a moment’s notice? What if tripping on mescaline […]

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The Depths of Decisions

Our brains – and the brains of other animals – actually run through superfast replays of past experiences as we make decisions, says a new study. This process isn’t one we usually have conscious access to – but without it, we might not be able to learn from the past at all. Memory seems pretty […]

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Memory Control

Scientists can now turn a particular memory “on” and “off” by controlling the specific neurons that help encode it, a new study reports. Thanks to cutting-edge technology that allows researchers to control individual brain cells, a team has found a way to activate and deactivate memories of certain environments in mouse brains. The past few […]

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Reward Lasers

Our ability to feel pleasure in rewarding situations depends on a delicate balance of two specific types of brain circuits, a new study reports. By using targeted lasers to activate specific cells in a mouse brain, researchers can disrupt and reactivate small sections of that brain’s reward pathway, causing mice to drastically change their behavior. […]

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Mixed-Up Memories

Just a minute of physical exertion can seriously impair a person’s memory of the threat that triggered it, says a new study. When we undergo a strenuous task, such as a chase or a fight, immediately after witnessing an event, we have much less ability to remember the event’s details than if we’d taken time […]

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