Alzheimer’s disease leads to tragic memory deficits, but it’s not clear whether those memories are actually lost. It’s also not clear whether this is a problem with memory formation and storage or a problem in memory retrieval. This is clinically relevant, since memory retrieval could potentially be restored by targeted brain stimulation.
I am curious about the difference between whether the memory is actually being stored and not able to be retrieved later, or not being stored to begin with at all. It never occurred to me to think about such a nuance.
If you think there’s a possibility of Alzheimer’s for you, please make sure you make plans with regard to health, etc. before things get bad and you can’t make those decisions anymore. Things easily become a big mess in those situations.
Red Bull may give you wings, but at what cost? To some, energy drinks are dangerous elixirs, while others consider them magic potions of vitality? The truth about how they affect your body is not so black and white.
The notion that musical training can have positive effects on cognitive functions other than music has long been a source of interest. Research first emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. Standardised assessments of IQ and musical ability suggested the two were correlated – and it was thought that participation in musical training could improve IQ.
Recently, research has shifted focus from effects on musical training on global intelligence and instead focuses on benefits to specific skills and tasks in individuals.
I did learn an instrument, but in recent years I found myself wishing it had been the piano. My music theory is terrible though…
Something that wasn’t mentioned in the article was the reality that access to music training generally brings up economic status. How much is really from music training vs what other things that wouldn’t exist for those in poverty?
Methamphetamine is one of the nastiest drug addictions to overcome, in part because memories of the high are so powerful. But what if scientists could erase those drug-infused recollections? Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida have developed a drug that’s able to do just that in mice.
We already have a general memory erasing drug – it’s called U0126. U0126 inhibits a kinase called MEK1 that doesn’t critically kill any one pathway when you inhibit it, but instead it ‘nudges’ half of the functions in the cell. Signaling through MEK1 is like the biochemical equivalent of Kevin Bacon; every single process has at most a degree or two of separation from it. One of the many processes altered by inhibiting it is memory reconsolidation. So give someone the drug, have them recall a memory strongly (this is why fear-inducing memories work well) and it’s like you sent the memory on snapchat.
It’s hard to pin down exactly what makes us remember things. When you see an image, what makes you decide you’ve seen it before? A new study has tackled this question, identifying a group of neurons that participate in the process of identifying images as familiar.