Friday, January 15, 2010

All in the Mind - Dreams: the stuff memories are made of? (Part 2 of 2)

Here is part two of this excellent look a dreams. [Part one of this piece is here.]

Dreams: the stuff memories are made of? (Part 2 of 2)

Dreams feel meaningful—drawn from a mishmash of content from our waking lives. But it's a hot debate among scientists, who are yet to confirm why we sleep, let alone dream. Neuroscientist Matthew Wilson's extraordinary experiments involve eavesdropping on the sleeping minds of rats. He proposes dreaming is central to how we remember and learn.

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Matthew A Wilson
Scholar, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Professor, Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biology
Investigator, RIKEN-MIT Neuroscience Research Center
Massachusetts Institute of Learning and Memory

Edwin M Robertson
Assistant Professor
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School

Further Information

Discuss the show on the All in the Mind blog
Read Natasha Mitchell's blog post about this program, and feel free to leave your comments.

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Cockroaches - sleep deprivation leads to memory loss (The Science Show, 2009)
Broadcast on The Science Show, ABC Radio National, 2009.
Maia Ten Brink is a senior high school student. She set out to determine the effects of sleep deprivation in cockroaches on memory retention. She taught her roaches to associate smells with tastes as rewards, then deprived them of sleep by movement through shaking. Over 4 days, the tired roaches demonstrated significant memory loss.

Wilson Laboratory website

Radio piece from WBUR takes you inside Wilson's experiments at MIT

Dreams: The Body Alive! (Part 1 of 2)
An interview with psychoanalyst Robert Bosnack on dreams and the idea of embodied cognition. (Broadcast on All in the Mind, ABC Radio National, 2009)

Bionic Brains and Memory: World's First Brain Prosthesis?
Broadcast on All in the Mind, 2003
Is your memory failing? Considered popping in a memory chip? Philosophical fantasies meet the world of the modern 'neural engineer' as All In the Mind ponders a curious future where brains are wired to computers, and silicon neurons replace your own. Scientists have just developed an early silicon model for an artificial hippocampus, a part of the brain so crucial to our sense of self. Its helps us make memories, and is often damaged in those with Alzheimers or after a stroke. But will these silicon recollections be your own?

Nightmares: Scars of the Soul
Broadcast on All in the Mind, ABC Radio National, 2004.


Title: Memory - An Anthology
Author: Edited by Harriet Harvey Wood and A.S Byatt
Publisher: Chatto and Windus (Random House), 2008

Title: From creation to consolidation: A novel framework for memory processing (Essay)
Author: Edwin M. Robertson
Publisher: PloS Biology, January 27, 2009

Title: Firing rate dynamics in the hippocampus induced by trajectory learning
Author: Daoyun Ji and Matthew A Wilson
Publisher: The Journal of Neuroscience, April 30, 2008, 28(18):4679-4689

Title: Reverse replay of behavioural sequences in hippocampal place cells during the awake state
Author: David J Foster, Matthew A Wilson
Publisher: Nature 440, 680-683 (30 March 2006)

Title: Coordinated memory replay in the visual cortex and hippocampus during sleep
Author: Daoyun Ji & Matthew Wilson
Publisher: Nature Neuroscience 10, 100 - 107 (2007)

Title: Inducing motor skill improvements with a declarative task.
Author: R Brown & E.M Robertson
Publisher: Nature Neuroscience 10, 148-149, (2007)

Title: Off-line processing: reciprocal interactions between declarative and procedural memories.
Author: R.M Brown, & E.M Robertson,
Publisher: Journal of Neuroscience 27, 10468-10475. (2007)

Title: Off-line learning of motor skill memory: a double dissociation of goal and movement.
Author: Cohen, D.A., Pascual-Leone, A., Press, D.Z., Robertson, E.M.
Publisher: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102, 18237-182341 (2005)


Natasha Mitchell

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