Glass Head Revealing Long Term Memory Use



Image Caption : Visualization opening with an anterior shot of the orange, glass head on the right side of the screen. The brain and spinal cord inside of the glass head make it difficult to see her features clearly. The camera rotates to the right and the cerebral cortex fades out leaving a number of blue masses within the glass shell of the brain. These masses are a 3D digitalization of a specific case of long-term memory use captured with functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques. The actual case is of a savant who can remember previous mathematic calculations and apply them to current math problems. The limbic system is also visible. As the camera rotates around the head, the masses become a lighter blue color and then return to their original hue. The animation ends with aerial shot from the front of the glass head. Inside of the head is the glass brain with all of its blue masses.

Memory

Your mind works a lot like a computer. Your brain puts information it judges to be important into "files." When you remember something, you pull up a file. Memory doesn't always work perfectly. As people grow older, it may take longer to retrieve those files. Some adults joke about having a "senior moment."

It's normal to forget things once in awhile. We've all forgotten a name, where we put our keys, or if we locked the front door. Seniors who forget things more often than others their age may have mild cognitive impairment. Forgetting how to use the telephone or find your way home may be signs of a more serious problem. These include Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, stroke, depression, head injuries, thyroid problems, or reactions to certain medicines. If you're worried about your forgetfulness, see your doctor.

NIH: National Institute on Aging



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