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memory

Animation of one icon tracing a wave pattern over a brain, followed by another icon that erases the pattern.
neuroscience

Dueling Brain Waves Anchor or Erase Learning During Sleep

October 24, 2019

While we sleep, one kind of slow brain wave helps to reinforce memories, but a competing wave weakens them.

Abstractions blog

In Brain’s Electrical Ripples, Markers for Memories Appear

August 6, 2019

Researchers found that elongating certain brain signals in rats improved their memory. The work revealed a new property to look out for in the hunt for “biomarkers” of learning.

Art for "Goals and Rewards Rewrite the Brain’s Map of the World"
Abstractions blog

Goals and Rewards Redraw the Brain’s Map of the World

March 28, 2019

Two new studies show that the brain’s navigation system changes how it represents physical space to reflect personal experience.

Art for "How the Brain Creates a Timeline of the Past"
neuroscience

How the Brain Creates a Timeline of the Past

February 12, 2019

The brain can’t directly encode the passage of time, but recent work hints at a workaround for putting timestamps on memories of events.

Art for "The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces"
neuroscience

The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces

January 14, 2019

Emerging evidence suggests that the brain encodes abstract knowledge in the same way that it represents positions in space, which hints at a more universal theory of cognition.

Art for "Stem Cells Remember Tissues’ Past Injuries"
developmental biology

Stem Cells Remember Tissues’ Past Injuries

November 12, 2018

Stem cells seem to retain memories of old injuries to improve future healing. When that system goes wrong, chronic inflammation can result.

Illustration for "To Remember, the Brain Must Actively Forget"
neuroscience

To Remember, the Brain Must Actively Forget

July 24, 2018

Researchers find evidence that neural systems actively remove memories, suggesting that forgetting may be the default mode of the brain.

Photo of Physarum Polycephalum
cognitive science

Slime Molds Remember — but Do They Learn?

July 9, 2018

Evidence mounts that organisms without nervous systems can in some sense learn and solve problems, but researchers disagree about whether this is “primitive cognition.”

Illustration for "Overtaxed Working Memory Knocks the Brain out of Sync"
neuroscience

Overtaxed Working Memory Knocks the Brain Out of Sync

June 6, 2018

Researchers find that when working memory gets overburdened, dialogue between three brain regions breaks down. The discovery provides new support for a larger concept about how the brain works.