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Memory in the News

Page history last edited by Sue Frantz 11 years, 11 months ago

Main -> In the News: Memory


Secrets of a Mind Gamer (NY Times,  2/15/2011)

"Cooke and all the other mental athletes I met kept insisting that anyone could do what they do. It was simply a matter of learning to 'think in more memorable ways,' using a set of mnemonic techniques almost all of which were invented in ancient Greece. These techniques existed not to memorize useless information like decks of playing cards but to etch into the brain foundational texts and ideas."

Discussion questions: Are you interested in training for the Memory Championship?  Why or why not?


Limits of the Mind (Radiolab, 4/16/2010)

"How much can you jam into a human brain? In this segment, Jonah Lehrer tells us the stunning tale of Mr. S., a man whose memory seemed to have no limits. And Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg warns of the dark side of this gift. Then we visit the annual World Memory Championships, to meet expert brain stuffers. Competitor Ron White unveils some of the tricks he uses to memorize long strings of random numbers (hint: envision Albert Einstein riding a roller coaster)."  [17min]

Discussion questions: What are the downsides to a 'perfect' memory? What is the psychology behind Ron White's mnemonics? In other words, why do his mnemonics work?


H.M.'s Brain and the History of Memory  (NPR, 2/24/2007)

Henry Gustav Molaison (H.M.) is well-known to psychology professors and students.  Left only with his past and the immediate moment, H.M. could not form new memories.  Listen to or read the transcript of this NPR story on H.M.  "Well, the way I figure it is, what they find out about me helps them to help other people."  With his death, his identity could finally be revealed. (Molaison's NY Times obituary, 12/4/2008.) 

Discussion questions: What would it be like to not be able to remember more than the last 20 seconds? 










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