Remembering Accidentally on Purpose

It's a well-known, unfortunate fact of life that some of our memory functions decline as we age, but recent studies suggest there may be a silver lining to that gray cloud.

Mnemonic Misery

How negative emotions can improve your memory.

Breakfast, Brains, and Entropy

What Waffle House hash browns can teach us about the origins of human consciousness.

Between a Molehill and Mount Everest

Recent studies confirm that in matters of personal motivation and satisfaction, it’s not whether you win or lose; it's how hard you have to play the game.

You Use "You" to Make Meaning Out of Misery

A recent study shows that a perennial pet peeve of English teachers actually serves a useful psychological function.

Tweaking the Past to Prepare for the Future

A recent study suggests that imagining what might have been in the past can help you prepare for what might be in the future.

Manipulating Memory With the Mind's Eye

New research suggests that shifting the visual perspective of our autobiographical memories can shape and potentially restructure how we remember.

Mind-Wandering on a Leash

Recent neuroimaging research shows that two distinct, often antagonistic brain networks cooperate to produce creative thinking.

Looking Forward to Looking Back on Today

Nostalgia is by definition a backward looking emotional experience, but new research suggests that one form of nostalgia involves looking forward in order to look back.

A Coffee Maker or a Time Machine?

Recent studies on memory explain why spontaneous involuntary memories of our past are more vivid and emotionally intense than the memories we access intentionally.

"I Feel Your Pain" (Literally)

In 1992, Bill Clinton said to a protester at a campaign rally, "I feel your pain." New research indicates that the now famous expression might not just be a figure of speech.

Your Brain and That "Other National Deficit"

Recent research indicates that our brain's susceptibility to false memories of the past may actually come in handy in our encounters with unfamiliar situations in the future.

Remembering Under Pressure

People often justify procrastination by claiming that they "work better under pressure." New research indicates that, in some kinds of tasks, there may be some truth to that claim.

The Practical Benefits of a Wandering Mind

The next time you’re trying to concentrate and find your mind wandering off task, you might just want to let it go. New research suggests it may be helping you achieve your goals.

Future Thinking and False Memories

Have you ever had a vivid memory that turned out to be false? New research suggests that false memories may actually be associated with a number of positive psychological traits.

The Two Faces of Nostalgia

It’s a well-known fact of life that “you can’t go home again,” and it’s how we deal with that realization that determines the emotional quality of our memories.

"Stone's Blood:" The Sweet Smell of Summer Rain

Is semantic ignorance olfactory bliss? Familiar smells can evoke powerful memories, but they pack a particularly powerful punch when we don't know where they're coming from.

A (Metaphorical) Bridge Between Semantic Order and Chaos

Walt Whitman once asked, “Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?” Research on the neural networks involved in metaphor processing justifies that feeling of pride.

Daydream Your Way to Better Grades

Got a final exam tomorrow (or some other memory task)? A good night’s sleep is the best preparation, but what if you don't have time for sleep? New research offers a ray of hope.

Your Brain and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Time for spring cleaning? You can straighten up your house as much as you like, but you might want to leave a little disorder in your brain.

Hidden Treasures Behind the Walls of Memory

Unbidden memories are special surprise gifts to our present from our past, but they are gifts that must be purchased on the layaway plan.

Marshmallow Men and One-Hit Wonders

Does a stray, random image, word, or sound ever pop into your head seemingly out of nowhere? Pay attention next time. Such spontaneous thoughts may be neither stray nor random.

Looking for America's Future in America's Past

A recent Bernie Sanders campaign ad featured a nostalgic oldie as the soundtrack to Sanders' revolutionary vision of the future. Was the song choice misguided, or right on target?

Nostalgia in the Key of C

A familiar song can carry us back to our past, but does a single musical chord have the power to make us feel nostalgic?

The Mysterious Connection Between Smell and Our Past

Have you ever caught a whiff of something that transported you back in time, but you could never figure out what point in time it transported you to? There’s a reason for that.

Read Any Good Memories Lately?

Could Jane Austen and your 6th grade crush be standing between you and material success? The possible perils of reading and remembering for pleasure.

Cheating Queens and Faux Snakes

Is that a rattlesnake on the path up ahead, or just a stick? If you said snake, you may be suffering from the same cognitive disorder as Shakespeare’s troubled Hamlet.

Charles Dickens, Neuroscientist

Sometimes "paying" attention can cost way too much.

It's OK to Be Nostalgic. Here's the Science That Proves It.

Feeling nostalgic? Indulge yourself. Those happy memories of the past may make you better able to deal with the present.

Nostalgia, Novelty, and the Neuroscience of #tbt

Don't let your memories gather dust in storage. Drag them out into the daylight of throwback Thursday.

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