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: Employing private security companies in war cuts costs but causes problems

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Power can corrupt even the honest

6 hours ago

When appointing a new leader, selectors base their choice on several factors and typically look for leaders with desirable characteristics such as honesty and trustworthiness. However once leaders are in power, can we trust ...

Learning at 10 degrees north

7 hours ago

Secluded beaches, calypso music and the entertaining carnival are often what come to mind when thinking of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. But Dal Earth Sciences students might first consider Trinidad's ...

How to find the knowns and unknowns in any research

8 hours ago

Have you ever felt overloaded by information? Ever wondered how to make sense of claims and counter-claims about a topic? With so much information out there on many different issues, how is a person new to ...

Minorities energize US consumer market, according to report

8 hours ago

The buying power of minority groups in the U.S. has reached new heights and continues to outpace cumulative inflation, according to the latest Multicultural Economy Report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the ...

User comments : 0