The latest in neuroscience from around the web:
The Guardian – The Homer Simpson effect: forgetting to remember [MEDIUM SCIENCE / MEDIUM READ]
D’OH: Have you ever felt—as Homer Simpson once remarked— that learning something new pushed old information out of your brain? For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that this effect really occurs. Believe it or not, forgetting things can be useful.
Neuroscience News – How sleep enhances memory retention [MEDIUM SCIENCE / SHORT READ]
SLEEP MORE TO FORGET LESS: If, however, you’re not ok with forgetting, maybe you should just sleep more! I know, it sounds too good to be true, but researchers have shown that levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine decrease during sleep, which causes less forgetting and allows better memory retention (at least in flies).
Neuroscience News – Why it’s hard to remember colours [SIMPLE SCIENCE / SHORT READ]
FEELING OFF-COLOUR: Do you have trouble remembering specific shades of colour? A team of researchers have demonstrated the reason why: our brains tend to store what we see as one of only a few basic hues.
Brain Decoder – Illusion of the year [SIMPLE SCIENCE / SHORT READ]
PERCEPTION ISN’T ALWAYS REALITY: Everybody loves an illusion, and this is a pretty good one – the same strip of colours looks completely different depending on what surrounds it. Why? You can find out a little more about perception, illusions and their relevance to schizophrenia here.
Neuroscientifically Challenged – Deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease [ADVANCED SCIENCE / LONG READ]
PROBING PARKINSON’S: Did you know that Michael J. Fox’s writhing movements aren’t caused by his Parkinson’s disease, but are a side-effect of medication? What happens when the medication stops working? In this article, find out how sticking electrodes into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s can drastically improve their symptoms.