Enzyme’s Essential Role in Long-Term Memory Refuted

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The enzyme protein kinase M-ζ (PKM-ζ) was thought to be a fixture of long-term memory, as its inhibition could erase old memories, whilst adding it could strengthen faded ones. Two independent groups have challenged the role of this memory molecule by developing mice that completely lack it and show no detectable memory problems.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

Nostalgia Makes Us Warm & Colder Temperatures Make Us Nostalgic


Smell, touch, and music have all proven to evoke nostalgia and researchers at the University of Southampton have discovered that nostalgia is linked to the physical feeling of warmth.

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New Study Indicates False Memories Linger For Years


Each time a memory is recalled, the memory is imperfectly re-stitched by the brain. Memories retain familiarity but can be filled with holes that have worn down with time.

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Disruption of Memory Reconsolidation Erases a Fear Memory Trace


Fear memories are formed when humans associate things with strong, negative emotional responses. A team of scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden have developed a technique that allows them to erase new emotional memories from the brain, making it possible to erase your fears.

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PRKCA Gene Links to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Emotional Memory Formation


Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland were able to analyze the genetic sequences of the PRKCA gene over 700 healthy young volunteers. This gene is one of many that have been known to be involved in the formation of emotional memories. It encodes an enzyme called protein kinase C-α. They were able to confirm that some of the variations in the PRKCA were linked to the diagnosis of PTSD in some patients. The researchers published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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The Internet Age for Families

The NYT reports on the impact that online life has on families. The breakfast table has become cluttered with Blackberries, iPhones, and laptops. People wake up and check their email first.

Having spent time offline on purpose, I no longer use Google Talk to receive email notifications. I only check my email a few times a day or when I know that I will receive something. In 2008, I was a daily Facebook user. In 2009, I spent almost 6 months off FB. Now, I log in a few times a week, mostly to accomplish tangible goals, not to check up on my friends.

My mobile is on vibrate 100% of the time and if I don’t have it on my, I don’t receive any calls. I often forget it at home while I go to work. I don’t use my phone at work. I need to be online in order to write my freelance blogs, but always checking stuff online becomes a hindrance when you can’t be online at all. I believe that we are creating a generation of scatterbrains, who always need to know and check up facts at all times instead of using their memories.

I still feel the pull of having to be online, checking my feeds in Google Reader, checking up on news, blogging and writing. I also do a lot of research online.