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Restoring Memory

Does exercise improve memory?

According to a recent study, just a few minutes of light exercise can give your brain an immediate push in the right direction, helping to improve memory. Exercise and the hippocampus In the past, studies have revealed that exercise can enhance some aspects of cognitive ability and improve memory performance. Also, adults who are more physically active tend to have increased hippocampal volume. In order to find out why exercise might benefit the hippocampus and memory performance, some scientists have asked whether physical activity stimulates the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus (known as neurogenesis). The hippocampus, which is a brain structure that sits within the temporal lobe, is of particular interest to researchers trying to understand this problem. Vital for learning a...

Memory-boosting brain implants are in the works. Would you get one?

Neural prostheses look promising in new studies, though there’s still a lot of work to do.   How far would you go to keep your mind from failing? Would you go so far as to let a doctor drill a hole in your skull and stick a microchip in your brain?   It’s not an idle question. In recent years neuroscientists have made major advances in cracking the code of memory, figuring out exactly how the human brain stores information and learning to reverse-engineer the process. Now they’ve reached the stage where they’re starting to put all of that theory into practice.   Last month two research teams reported success at using electrical signals, carried into the brain via implanted wires, to boost memory in small groups of test patients. “It’s a major milestone in demonstrating...

Wake Forest Baptist memory study shows signs of improving short-term recall

Research progress in improving short-term memory performance could represent an important step toward two key health goals, according to a joint project involving Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  The study is aimed at helping restore short-term memory loss and assisting individuals with holding onto memories as they age.   The project features the successful implementation of a prosthetic system that uses a person’s own memory patterns to facilitate brain ability to encode and recall memory.

Are memory-enhancing brain prosthetics the next step in our evolution?

No matter how much brain training we do, our memory is still subpar. Are memory-enhancing brain prosthetics the way to go?   It appears to be the case that with hard work, intensive research, and $100 million, we can shape the future of human evolution. A society obsessed with constant betterment of ourselves, coupled with our boundless love for advancing technology, has led to the development of a memory prosthesis that has shown up to 30% improvement in memory recall in human participants. While prior research has shown similar methods which have enhanced the memory of some mammals, researchers at the innovative company Kernel say that this is the first time this has been demonstrated in humans. This ground-breaking research opens up the possibility of a market for brain prosthetics...

Probing Brain’s Depth, Trying to Aid Memory

PHILADELPHIA — The man in the hospital bed was playing video games on a laptop, absorbed and relaxed despite the bustle of scientists on all sides and the electrodes threaded through his skull and deep into his brain. “O.K., that’s enough,” he told doctors after more than an hour. “All those memory tests, it’s exhausting.” The man, Ralph, a health care worker who asked that his last name be omitted for privacy, has severe epilepsy; and the operation to find the source of his seizures had provided researchers an exquisite opportunity to study the biology of memory. The Department of Defense on Tuesday announced a $40 million investment in what has become the fastest-moving branch of neuroscience: direct brain recording. Two centers, one at the University of Pennsylvania and the other at the...

UCLA project receives $15M to restore lost memory functions in brain-injured people

The UCLA Program in Memory Restoration has been awarded up to $15 million by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for a four -year project aiming to help brain-injured people restore lost memory functions. A UCLA team of experts in neurosurgery, engineering, neurobiology, psychology and physics will collaborate to create, surgically implant, and test a memory prosthesis in the brain. Memory is the process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries disrupt this process and cause memory loss. “Losing our ability to remember past events and form new memories is one of the most dreaded afflictions of the human condition,” said Dr. Itzhak Fried, the lead investigator for the ...