Learning and Memory

New brainwave device shown to boost memory performance

October 23, 2018

Researchers have revealed a new brainwave device that supposedly boosts our ability to remember significantly more information.

A device that gives us a significantly enhanced memory has long been a trope of science fiction, and perhaps the dreams of many a student. Now, researchers at University of California, Davis, have revealed a somewhat similar device that enhances brainwaves crucial to our ability to recall information.

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Discovering Curiosity: Making Music, Studying Memory with Charan Ranganath

October 03, 2018

An audio clip from the Apollo 11 launch plays amid static. “Ignition sequence start,” a voice says. “Six, five, four, three…” As the countdown continues, the feedback swells in the background, as if an amplifier’s volume knob is slowly being turned up. “All engines running,” the voice says. “Liftoff.”

UC Davis neuroscientists advance learning and memory research to decode how our brains work

August 02, 2018

For astrophysicists, the final frontier is outer space, but ask a neuroscientist, and the greatest quest for scientific exploration lies within your brain. 

Vastly more advanced than any supercomputer, the complexity and versatility of the human brain is awe-inspiring. Of all its abilities, learning from new experiences might be the most powerful and astounding feature. But how does learning occur? And how do we remember what we learn? 

Why You Forget Names Immediately—And How to Remember Them

July 26, 2018

Of all the social gaffes, none is perhaps more common than meeting a new person, exchanging names and promptly forgetting theirs — forcing you to either swallow your pride and ask again, or languish in uncertainty forever.

Why do we keep making this mistake? There are a few potential explanations, says Charan Ranganath, the director of the Memory and Plasticity Program at the University of California, Davis.

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Learning Enhances Synapses Between “Memory Cells” in Mice

April 26, 2018

When making memories, certain neurons form larger, denser connections, according to a study published today (April 26) in Science.

Scientists have long attempted to understand where, and how, the brain stores memories. At the beginning of the 20th century, German scientist Richard Semon coined the term “engram” to describe the hypothetical physical representations of memories in the brain.

Memory reply prioritizes high-reward experiences

February 11, 2016

Why do we remember some events, places and things, but not others? Our brains prioritize rewarding memories over others, and reinforce them by replaying them when we are at rest, according to new research from the University of California, Davis, Center for Neuroscience, published Feb. 11 in the journal Neuron.

“Rewards help you remember things, because you want future rewards,” said Professor Charan Ranganath, a UC Davis neuroscientist and senior author on the paper. “The brain prioritizes memories that are going to be useful for future decisions.”

Imaging studies reveal affected brain regions in schizophrenia

October 09, 2015

In a study published online in JAMA Psychiatry, John Daniel Ragland, Ph.D. and Cameron Carter, M.D. combined previously established tests for cognitive function with fMRI to pinpoint how memory and brain function change in patients with schizophrenia.

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Manipulating memory with light

October 09, 2014

Just look into the light: not quite, but researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology have used light to erase specific memories in mice, and proved a basic theory of how different parts of the brain work together to retrieve episodic memories. The work was published Oct. 9 in the journal Neuron. 

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