Better memory requires better 'bouncer'

Nov 23, 2005

An Oregon professor says even if you could get more RAM for your brain, the extra storage probably wouldn't help you find where you left the car keys.

But Edward Vogel, a University of Oregon assistant professor of cognitive neuroscience, says what might help is a better bouncer -- as in the type of bouncer who manages crowd control for nightclubs.

Vogel is believed to be the first to demonstrate awareness, or "visual working memory," depends on one's ability to filter out irrelevant information.

"Until now, it's been assumed that people with high capacity visual working memory had greater storage, but actually it's about the bouncer -- a neural mechanism that controls what information gets into awareness," Vogel said.

The findings contradict the popular concept that a person's memory capacity, which is strongly related to intelligence, is solely dependent upon the amount of information one can assimilate.

Scientists say Vogel's findings may lead to developing more effective ways of optimizing memory, as well as improved diagnosis and treatment of cognitive deficits associated with attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia.

The study appears in the current issue of Nature.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Physicists create tool to foresee language destruction impact and thus prevent it

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Affirmative action elicits bias in pro-equality Caucasians

16 hours ago

New research from Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business indicates that bias towards the effects of affirmative action exists in not only people opposed to it, but also in those who strongly endorse equality.

Narcissistic CEOs and financial performance

Jul 24, 2014

Narcissism, considered by some as the "dark side of the executive personality," may actually be a good thing when it comes to certain financial measures, with companies led by narcissistic CEOs outperforming those helmed ...

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

Jul 24, 2014

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

User comments : 0