USA Today – Dr. Sam Gandy: "Your Brain Often Edits That Trip Down Memory Lane"
Every time you pull up a memory – say of your first kiss – your mind reinterprets it for the present day, new research suggests. If you're in the middle of an ugly divorce, for example, you might recall it differently than if you're happily married and life is going well. This makes your memory quite unlike the video camera you may imagine it to be. But new research in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests it's very effective for helping us adapt to our environments. The new research also suggests that memory problems like those seen in Alzheimer's could involve a "freezing" of these memories — an inability to adapt the memory to the present. We tend to imagine that once we commit a fact to memory, it is shuttled into a warehouse somewhere in the brain and brought out only when needed, said Sam Gandy, MD, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. This study suggests instead that the part of the brain that retains memory is the same as the part that brings it back up. Learn more