News Stories

Memory Problems?

Spray them away! - What will YOU remember in the future, maybe in your next life? Here's something all students (especially) should know: A molecule from the body's immune system (interleukin-6) when sprayed into the nose helps the brain cement your memories during REM sleep (so don't pull an all-nighter!)

Researcher Gerald Weissmann says, "If a nasal spray can improve memory, perhaps we're on our way to giving some folks a whiff of common sense, such as accepting the realities of evolution," by which he means that sleep is what "sets" the memories in our brain. Soon this nasal spray may be sold in college bookstores, next to the No-Doz and super caffeinated sodas.

Meanwhile, scientists have discovered that memory is a little like taste: If you don't think you'll like the wine (or don't think you have a good memory), then you probably WON'T. In other words, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Science Blog website quotes researcher Tom Hess as saying, "For example, older adults will perform more poorly on a memory test if they are told that older folks do poorly on that particular type of memory test." Hess feels that memory suffers if senior citizens believe they are being "stigmatized," meaning that others are looking down on them because of their age and says, "Social factors may have a negative effect on older adults' memory performance."

You won't NEED to remember anything if you record your every waking moment. Now that most cell phones have a built-in camera, it's easy to record events (and UFOs, if you see one). But if you want to record your entire LIFE, as a sort of diary, there's a camera you can wear around your neck that automatically records everything you see and do.

In New Scientist, Kurt Kleiner reports that computer scientist Henry Kautz thinks that eventually this device will be part of the artificial memory used by ordinary people, in place of the notebooks and planners that are used today. Another reason not to need your memory: Subscribe to unknowncountry.com and you can still listen to over 4 years of Dreamland shows and even download them to an MP3 disc so you can listen during those long automobile trips in your air-powered car!

To learn more, click here, here and here.

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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