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Gene variant enhances memory by boosting brain activity

October 21st, 2011

Having a good memory could all come down to the gene variant KIBRA T allele, which has been found to boost brain activity.

Research from Umea University debunked the theory that those without the gene variant compensate for it with other functions in their brain, finding KIBRA T allele in fact leads to greater activity in the hippocampus.

Some 2,230 subjects were tested for their memory performance, with carriers of the gene variant performing better than non-carriers as previous research showed. A smaller group of 83 was then studied under a fMRI, with the findings contradicting those of previous and showing that greater brain activity is seen in carriers.

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Search engines are affecting our memories; and in other news, search engines affect memory!

August 19th, 2011

searchA recent paper published in Science magazine, suggests that the use of internet search engines is changing how our memories store information. (‘Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips,’ Sparrow et al., 333 (6043): 776-778). We are more likely, according to the authors of this study, to forget information we know can easily be found via internet search engines. We remember where and how to find out this information with ease, but forget the information itself.  This suggests that the internet has become a source of external transactive memory for those with easy access to its information.
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