Memories Are Who We Are

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NIH study finds out why some words may be more memorable than others

NIH News Release

Thousands of words, big and small, are crammed inside our memory banks just waiting to be swiftly withdrawn and strung into sentences. In a recent study of epilepsy patients and healthy volunteers, National Institutes of Health researchers found that our brains may withdraw some common words, like “pig,” “tank,” and “door,” much more often than others, including “cat,” “street,” and “stair.” By combining memory tests, brain wave recordings, and surveys of billions of words published in books, news articles and internet encyclopedia pages, the researchers not only showed how our brains may recall words but also memories of our past experiences.

“We found that some words are much more memorable than others. Our results support the idea that our memories are wired into neural networks and that our brains search for these memories, just the way search engines track down information on the internet,” said Weizhen (Zane) Xie, Ph.D., a cognitive psychologist and post-doctoral fellow at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), who led the study published in Nature Human Behaviour. “We hope that these results can be used as a roadmap to evaluate the health of a person’s memory and brain.”



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1 COMMENT

  1. The article began with a sub-headline that claims our brains work like an internet search engine. This is woeful. It is not science. These psychologists delude themselves in promoting themselves as ‘cognitive’ which is worse than being in a priesthood and just as willfully ignorant to compare the brain to what we know is equally full of garbage- a search engine’s results which mostly are not what one asked. The trouble is back in the mid 80s social scientists [an oxymoron as I am a retired and non practicing sociologist who ran away three weeks into honours] started bandying the word ‘cognitive’ around like confetti. To blind everybody to the fact of their hopeless incompetence to ever as scientists predict anything in their discipline. So to the memory. Which our brain erases without our say so. Reinforces other memories and mixes them up during dream phase states of unconscious consciousness. But not to get too involved why our brain is not a search engine, apart from the fact it is not is that computers do not even come close as an analogy. They are an abacus that is that. Our brain is not. Perhaps the cognitive psychologist is. The difference being the NeoCortex. Since that amazing piece of super analogue and super redundancy is so hyper-spatially multi dimensionally and omni directionally as well as a-logically functional, say a doubling of the indeterminacy principle [Heisenberg] plus Gödels incompleteness theory plus Kant’s noumenon residing within not without what helps define the mind -the energy entity which ‘creates’ out of temporal memory everything we remember -except the social media zombies who are in a permanent state of digital dementia- our brain is really the Newtonian base state to the super model of the hyper functioning mind. And that is beyond psychologists no matter if they tag -cognitive- in front of their title. The NeoCortex. The only way to comprehend that is start meditating. Without thinking. I have been flaying around within and believe me decades later I know this much. There is more space within than without a doubt. But VT editors et.al thank you for bringing the article to our attention.

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