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Popular Mechanics

Researchers at MIT have found that the brain can send a burst of noradrenaline when it requires you to pay attention to something crucial, reports Juandre for Popular Mechanics. “The MIT team discovered that one important function of noradrenaline, commonly known as norepinephrine, is to assist the brain in learning from unexpected results,” explains Juandre.

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Li-Huei Tsai underscores the need for the Alzheimer’s research community to “acknowledge the gaps in the current approach to curing the disease and make significant changes in how science, technology, and industry work together to meet this challenge.” Tsai adds: “With a more expansive mode of thinking, we can bridge the old innovation gaps and cross new valleys of discovery to deliver meaningful progress toward the end of Alzheimer’s.”


MIT researchers have developed a new wearable device, called Dormio, that can be used to record and even guide a person’s dreams, reports Mashable. Dormio is aimed at providing “insights into how dreams work and their effect on various things like memory, emotion, creativity.”


Research scientist César Hidalgo speaks with Kara Miller of WGBH’s Innovation Hub about his work exploring collective memory and how society experiences generational forgetting. For things like popular songs “there is a period of up to five years when they are still in our communicative memory, we are still talking about it," Hidalgo explains. “After that they go into our cultural memory.”

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times reporter Melissa Healy writes that a new study by MIT researchers provides evidence that acoustic and visual stimulation could improve Alzheimer’s symptoms. “The study’s central finding — that inducing electrical synchrony touched off such a widespread range of effects — suggests there might be a single key lever that can preserve or restore order in brains made 'noisy' by age and disease,” Healy explains.

Scientific American

A study by MIT researchers shows that exposing patients to flashing light and pulsing sounds could reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms, reports Angus Chen for Scientific American. “This is the first time we’ve seen that this noninvasive stimulation can improve cognitive function,” says Prof. Li-Huei Tsai. 

New York Times

New York Times reporter Pam Belluck writes that MIT researchers have found exposure to a specific combination of light and sound could improve Alzheimer’s symptoms. “It’s stunning that the intervention had beneficial effects on so many different aspects of Alzheimer-like pathology,” said Dr. Lennart Mucke, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease.

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Gary Stix highlights a study by researchers from the MIT Media Lab that examines the “underlying dynamics of collective attention and memory, traced as a bi-exponential curve (a steep drop followed by a slow decline over time).”


Natasha Frost of Quartz speaks with graduate student Mostafa Mohsenvand about his work developing a new wearable device that could one day be used to help people with memory loss. Frost writes the device may help those suffering with Alzheimer’s by “making memories instantly accessible externally for those who may otherwise be unable to recall them.”


Quartz reporter Madis Kabash highlights how Media Lab researchers are developing a device, dubbed Mnemo, that automatically records and retrieves a person’s memories. The project team aims to “build a memory bank big enough to help people with memory loss,” explains Kabash.

The Boston Globe

MIT hosted the 2018 USA Memory Championship for the first time at Kresge Auditorium. The contestants competed in four events, which required the memorization of a variety of topics, including “the periodic table, who’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the life stories of four people,” reports Margeaux Sippell for The Boston Globe.

CommonHealth (WBUR)

Carey Goldberg writes for WBUR’s CommonHealth about this year’s USA Memory Championship, which is taking place at MIT. “[M]emory is a skill, it's not an innate capacity," says Robert Ajemian, a research scientist at MIT’s McGovern Institute. "And that's the message that we want to get out, both to the scientific community and to the lay community."


In an article published by Wired, Jordana Cepelewicz highlights a study co-authored by Prof. Earl Miller that examines the capacity limit for the human brain’s working memory. Cepelewicz explains that the research, “not only provides insights into memory function and dysfunction, but also offers further evidence for a burgeoning theory of how the brain processes information.”


A new study by MIT scientists shows how two proteins work to ensure that memory is encoded within minutes, according to Xinhua. The study, “also provided new hints about how problems involving these two proteins in other parts of the brain, such as the frontal cortex, could undermine cognition in those diseases.”


MIT researchers have identified the brain circuit required for observational learning, reports Xinhua. According to the study, the area involved in evaluating social information is more active when witnessing an experience and “relays information about the experience” to the region important for processing emotions.