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How to get information to stick in your brain

Created date

January 5th, 2016
memory graphic
memory graphic

Remembering information might be as easy as rehearsing it right after you learn it.

Researchers from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom conducted tests in which study participants were shown a series of short video clips from YouTube. Right after each video, they were asked to relate (rehearse) details of the videos either out loud or in their heads. After doing so, they were shown a second set of videos but were not asked to remember particulars. During the entire experiment, their brains were being observed via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Two weeks later, participants were asked to recall details from both sets of videos, also while undergoing MRI. They were able to relate many specifics from the first set but had forgotten most or all information from the second series.

Posterior cingulate

The researchers noticed that a particular area of the brain called the posterior cingulate showed activity while the participants were watching and rehearsing a video’s details. Further, the degree to which this region was activated predicted how well participants recalled the videos later.

These findings lead scientists to believe the posterior cingulate, which often shows damage in people with Alzheimer’s disease, plays an important role in creating permanent memories. From this study, researchers hope to understand more about how these findings can help Alzheimer’s sufferers.

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