New Theory: Memories Change When Remembered
Study reconciles competing theories
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 20, 2013 12:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – Think back to your fondest memory. If a group of Johns Hopkins University researchers are right, you just changed that memory forever. They've developed a new theory about the nature of memory that could resolve a longstanding debate about the issue, Scientific American explains. They believe that memories are initially encoded through the efforts of your hippocampus and cortex. Thereafter, whenever you access the memory, your hippocampus tells your brain where to move it or how to change it.

Oft-revisited memories will quickly take up residency as permanent residents of the cortex, while their lesser-touched comrades fade away. In the past, some scientists had hypothesized that new memories form in the hippocampus, then gradually migrate to the cortex as they age, while others believed that "episodic" memories are the province of both organs, while dryer, more factual observations end up in the cortex. But neither explained every case. This new theory postulates that it's not the nature or age of the memory that determines where it lands, but how you use it.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
Oct 21, 2013 3:16 AM CDT
My theory has always been that you only remember things because you remember remembering them.
Oct 21, 2013 1:23 AM CDT
Anyone besides me think of their co-workers when they read this?
Ruby Agnir
Oct 20, 2013 11:11 PM CDT
The name of the university is not John Hopkins but Johns Hopkins. There is an "s" attached to John. Not very many people know this, but it is always good to check. rla