Memory Essential Reads

Another Flashbulb Memory Bites the Dust

Guest post by a student who has a memory of September 11th, 2001, that is vivid, clear, and wrong.

Mental Fitness for Seniors

Baby boomers are one of the largest aging cohorts ever. Given that more seniors than ever will be driving, traveling, and working, there is an urgency to staying mentally fit.

How Dreams Help Us Transcend Time and Place

Can we benefit from thinking about our dreams? Will attending to our dreams waste our time or, even worse, mislead us into inferences of false meaning?

Music's Effects on Cognitive Function of the Elderly

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Memory Medic
Music can be therapy for old age.

Why We Hate It When Someone Steals Our Life Story

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in Mental Mishaps
Have you, or anyone you know, ever been the victim of memory theft? Has someone ever stolen one of your memories and told the story as his or her own? You might be surprised by how frequently this crime happens—you aren’t alone if your memories have been stolen.

Mapping Altered States of Consciousness

Lucid dreaming seems far closer to waking than to deep sleep but what does this mean? Could we ever map states of consciousness and understand the relationships between them?

Why It's Vital to Empty Your Head Every Night

Emptying mental garbage can save your life

Parental Warmth: Simple, Powerful, and Often Challenging

Amidst all the chatter about parenting styles and techniques, it is easy to forget about the importance of warmth. This overlooked dimension is found to be critical to child development in study after study, so why don’t we give it the attention it deserves?

Meet Danielle Meitiv: Fighting for Her Kids’ Rights

By Peter Gray on April 11, 2015 in Freedom to Learn
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been giving their children some of the same freedom that they themselves enjoyed as children, in a world that is safer than the one in which they grew up. As a consequence, they have been visited by police, and the county Child Protective Services have threatened to take their children away. Here is my interview with Danielle.

Forgetting PTSD: How Genes Affect Memory

The tet1 gene plays a central role in forgetting traumatic experiences.

Lessening Alzheimer’s Discordance: Five Recommendations

Dealing with the differing views of the illness held by the person with Alzheimer's disease and the care partner is a challenging but critical task. Lessening this discordance enormously reduces care partner stress, and is valuable for the person with the disease, as well.

What Your Oldest Memories Reveal About You

What do your childhood memories say about you? Do our early memories merit our consideration?

The Ghost in the Machine

By Neel Burton M.D. on April 02, 2015 in Hide and Seek
What makes you who you are?

The Flynn Effect as Adaptive Change

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in The Human Beast
All living creatures can change to fit in with their environment. Some of that flexibility is due to gene selection but a lot is developmental. The Flynn effect of rising IQ in developed countries is an enrichment effect of modern life. It arises due to the adaptive response of our brain to the increased challenges it faces.

Cooperation Is Natural

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in The Green Mind
Nature contact facilitates mental and physical development, improves learning, makes us more cooperative, and promotes pro-environmental choices. These are the qualities we need for a prosperous society and that negotiators in tough negotiations need for positive results.

Socioeconomic Factors Impact a Child's Brain Structure

In the largest study of its kind, a team of investigators from nine different universities have identified a correlative link between family income and a child’s brain structure.

The Benefits of Embracing the Ordinary

By Amie M. Gordon PhD on March 27, 2015 in Between You and Me
What would you rather do, write down the last conversation you had or watch a funny video? This is one question researchers asked in an effort to understand whether we underestimate the pleasure we get from recalling mundane events from our past. We don't want to record the last conversation we had, but in a month, we'd rather read about it than watch a funny video.

Can You Break the Mood-Memory Cycle?

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on March 27, 2015 in Mental Mishaps
Does it ever seem that the only thoughts that come to mind are negative? You only remember the painful and sorrowful experiences from your life. Someone reminds you of something happy, but you struggle to remember it. And remembering that happy experience may make you feel worse rather than better.

Secular Man, Religious Funeral

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Secular Life
Will your funeral reflect your values?

10 Things Your Psychology Professors Want You to Know

An education in psychology is enormous - including information on such diverse topics ranging from how infants perceive shapes to how rats learn to complete mazes - and more. Way more. The list found here distills a traditional education in psychology to 10 things that psychology professors really want their students to walk away with.

Why Childhood Stress Crimps Academic Performance

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 18, 2015 in The Human Beast
Animals from an environment full of risk remain vigilant and avoid exploring their surroundings. This promotes survival but has the indirect consequence of reducing their cognitive ability. A similar pattern applies to humans and shows up as academic under performance.

Notes from an Older Dad

My journey to being a mostly full-time dad demonstrates how having a child can alter one’s personal identity and sense of masculinity, especially when one is older.

Why Some People Are More Resilient Than Others

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on March 11, 2015 in Good Thinking
Everyone suffers at least one negative life event. A recent study discovered two factors that characterize resilient people following negative or even traumatic life events.

Excuse-making by School Children

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on March 11, 2015 in Memory Medic
A sense of self-efficacy has to be earned. It does not come from excuses.

Tomas Tranströmer’s Avocational Polymathy

Scratch beneath the surface of just about any successful career in science, art, or human affairs and you’re sure to find wide-ranging interests. We’ve been scratching through the memoirs and biographies of Nobel Prize winners. No surprise, avocational polmathy, aka the several-hats tactic, turns up time and again. Tomas Tranströmer provides a case in point.

Why We Can't Remember the Things We Most Often See

Where was the last fire extinguisher you saw? Do you remember where the “B” key is on your keyboard? Even things we see and interact with constantly can be forgotten—sometimes because we see them so much.

Midlife: Adult's Prime

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 02, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Why middle age truly is the prime of life.

Our Top-Down Brains and How They Help Us Adapt to the World

What you see is often not a matter of the stimuli that are in front of you, but a matter of your expectations. The “affair of the dress,” and whether you see it as white-gold or blue-black is just another example of our top-down brains.

Why We Hate It When People Invade Our Space

By Joe Navarro M.A. on February 27, 2015 in Spycatcher
Why exercising social intelligence matters and why it can dominate a news cycle

Living in the Here and Now

By Susan Hooper on February 26, 2015 in Detours and Tangents
For most of my life, I have wanted to be somewhere else, living an entirely different life. A calendar from years ago showed me that I had then—and may even have now—a life that other people might envy.