Get Your FREE subscription today
Current Issues Past Issues Who We Are Resources Get Involved Glossary
From the Editor
Editor's Note
Memory News
Fatty food weighs down muscles and memory
Pumping Neurons: Exercise to maintain a healthy brain
The evidence is growing that moderate regular exercise boosts memory and other brain functions and may help prevent age-related declines.
Go to Article >>
How Parkinsonís disease affects the mind

It’s not just a movement disorder. Besides causing tremors and other motion-related symptoms, Parkinson’s disease affects memory, learning, and behavior.

Go to Article >>

Creative healing: art therapy for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
As medical science races to cure dementia, storytelling and other creative activities promise a better quality of life for the millions already diagnosed.
Go to Article >>
Memory Tip
Medicate Your Memory
State-Dependent Memory

Learning that takes place in one situation or "state" is generally better remembered later in a similar situation or state. This can include:

  • Environmental context: Subjects who learn information in one room are able to remember more when tested in the same room than in a novel room. Other environmental influences may include the time of day and the people who are present.
  • Physical state: Subjects who learn new information while under the influence of a drug, such as caffeine or nicotine, will perform better if tested under the influence of the same drug.
  • Emotional state: Subjects who are sad are better able to remember unhappy or unpleasant memories; subjects who are happy are better able to remember happy or pleasant memories. The effect of emotional state is amplified in subjects with depression, who may show disproportionate retrieval of unhappy memories -- thus unintentionally heightening their own feelings of depression.
  • Sensory modality: Subjects given information in verbal format may be more able to answer verbal questions about the information, while subjects to whom the information is presented in a visual format may be more able to recognize the same information again when presented visually.

by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain