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Think you’ve got a terrible memory? You don’t know the half of it

Think you’ve got a terrible memory? You don’t know the half of it

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Last year, MIT neuroscientists Xu Liu and Steve Ramirez manipulated the memory of a mouse. In a fascinating and mildly troubling breakthrough caused by a laser and the protein channelrhodopsin, they “activated” fear memories in a mouse. The impetus, says Ramirez, was the awful feeling of a break-up, the desire, Eternal Sunshine-style, to erase the []

8 TED Talks about memory

8 TED Talks about memory

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Experiences we have all had: walking into a room with a tremendous sense of purpose, only to realize that you have completely forgotten what the purpose was. Talking to someone in a restaurant and losing the thread of your conversation because you’re distracted by the juicier one at the table next door. Slowing down as []

Elizabeth Loftus on embedding false memories in U.S. soldiers

Elizabeth Loftus on embedding false memories in U.S. soldiers

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“We can’t reliably distinguish true memories from false memories,” declares psychologist Elizabeth Loftus in today’s talk. She’s spent the past forty years studying the memory, and has reached some mind-blowing conclusions about what we know, and what we think we know. Here, she shares more detail about her work, and suggests further reading for anyone []

Want to know more about the unreliable nature of memory? Read this

Want to know more about the unreliable nature of memory? Read this

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Elizabeth Loftus studies false memories. As she describes in her TED Talk, The fiction of memory, she has implanted erroneous memories of childhood trauma into adult study subjects as part of her work. She has pinpointed failures in eyewitness testimonies. She’s found that misinformation can reshape taste preferences. And, she’s found that people in stressful []

Playing memory games on this week’s TED Radio Hour

Playing memory games on this week’s TED Radio Hour

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How do you keep memories? And how much can you trust those preservations? This week’s TED Radio Hour, “Memory Games,” looks at recollections versus actual experiences, sorts through our tendency to create false memories, and unpacks how we can actually enhance our ability to remember. Forensic psychologist Scott Fraser starts the hour. He is the []

TED Weekends wonders: What’s the key to memory?

TED Weekends wonders: What’s the key to memory?

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Joshua Foer thought he might have set out on a fool’s errand when he started training to compete in the U.S. Memory Championship. Only, he ended up winning it in 2006. In his talk from TED2012, Foer shares the simple trick of memory that helped him become a champion — creating a memory palace that []

Remembering to remember: Joshua Foer at TED2012

Remembering to remember: Joshua Foer at TED2012

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Photo: James Duncan Davidson Joshua Foer challenges the audience to close their eyes, and then he tells a very strange story. In summary: “Imagine yourself standing outside the front door of your home. Notice the color of the door, the material it’s made out of. Now visualize a pack of overweight nudists on bicycles. They are []