Many memories, many rooms

Maxwell Hamilton (CC BY 2.0)

Maxwell Hamilton (CC BY 2.0)

via Gemini:

Since the time of the Greeks, people have used a special memory trick called the method of loci,  which links memories to familiar places. You retrieve the memory by thinking of the place and calling up the associated memory.

Now researchers from NTNU’s Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for Neural Computation have published new findings on how the brain is able to store many separate but similar events, which helps explain how this trick works. Their results have just been published in the 8 December issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.

“We are extremely good at remembering places and we are very visual creatures,” says PhD candidate and first author of the paper Charlotte Alme. “Rats (and most likely humans) have a map for each individual place, which is why the method of loci works. Each place (or room in your house) is represented by a unique map or memory, and because we have so many different maps we can remember many similar places without mixing them up.”

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