Our brains deliberately make us forget things, to prevent insanity

The ability to retain and recall information is an imperfect process even at the best of times — a shortcoming that now appears to be no accident. A new study shows that our brains are actively making us forget unimportant details, and that if it didn't, we'd probably go insane. » 3/14/14 2:20pm 3/14/14 2:20pm

How Caffeine Can Boost Your Memory

Caffeine is known to confer a number of brain-boosting benefits, but its influence on our ability to store and recall information has never been properly explored. A new study corrects this oversight, showing that caffeine can help us recall certain memories — and it's an effect that lasts for at least 24 hours. » 1/13/14 8:00am 1/13/14 8:00am

Electroconvulsive Therapy Can Erase Unwanted Memories

We're still a far ways off from the kind of memory erasure portrayed in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but a recent experiment has just taken us one step closer. By using electroconvulsive therapy on depressed patients, scientists were able to disrupt their ability to recall emotionally jarring events. » 12/23/13 2:30pm 12/23/13 2:30pm

Forgetful snails could tell us about how our memories work

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Snails, like all animals, need to remember. They need to remember what is good or bad to eat, what might be trying to eat them, and who they recently mated with. All of these things can prove extremely important in the fight to survive and reproduce; and understanding how a snail forgets such things can teach us about » 12/19/13 7:40am 12/19/13 7:40am

Why do we hate seeing photos of ourselves?

There you are, clicking through your friend's Facebook album, when suddenly you happen upon a picture of yourself — or rather, a slightly less attractive version of yourself. The "real" you appears to have been abducted, replaced with some second-rate knock off. What gives? you ask yourself. Is that really what I look… » 10/22/13 10:35am 10/22/13 10:35am

Dolphins can remember their friends better than most humans

In case you still doubted that dolphins have an awareness rivaling our own, new research shows that these cetaceans can remember the whistles of their old tank-mates after being separated for more than 20 years! No species other than humans has demonstrated such a long-term social memory. » 8/07/13 1:00pm 8/07/13 1:00pm

8 Things We Simply Don't Understand About the Human Brain

Despite all the recent advances in the cognitive and neurosciences, there’s still much about the human brain that we do not know. Here are 8 of the most baffling problems currently facing science. » 7/29/13 10:05am 7/29/13 10:05am

Memory implantation is now officially real

The movie Inception is getting closer to reality. By planting false memories into the minds of mice, neuroscientists at MIT have created the first artificially implanted memories. And they've brought us closer to understanding the fallibility of human recollection. » 7/25/13 11:37am 7/25/13 11:37am

Like humans, chimps and orangutans remember their past

Sometimes a particular smell, flavor or other sensory cue can trigger a flood of distant memories. New research shows chimpanzees and orangutans have similar capacities for this kind of episodic memory — they're able to accurately recall an event that happened three years prior. The results suggest, once again, that… » 7/18/13 1:20pm 7/18/13 1:20pm

Why Your Memory Sucks (and What You Can Do About It)

Human memory is quirky, complicated, and unreliable. Even when we think we're remembering everything accurately, chances are things have gotten twisted along the way. Let’s take a look at why your memory sucks, and how you can change that. » 6/27/13 2:46pm 6/27/13 2:46pm