Though people can distinguish between millions of colors, we have trouble remembering specific shades because our brains tend to store what we’ve seen as one of just a few basic hues, a Johns Hopkins University-led team discovered.
Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University
This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.
Lisa Feigenson, a Johns Hopkins University researcher, who specializes in cognition and memory in humans as early as infancy, is a recipient of the National Academy of Sciences 2015 Troland Research Award.
By tracking brain activity when an animal stops to look around its environment, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University believe they can mark the birth of a memory.
For some, it’s the tradition of steeping tealeaves to brew the perfect cup of tea. For others, it’s the morning shuffle to a coffee maker for a hot jolt of java. Then there are those who like their wake up with the kind of snap and a fizz usually found in a carbonated beverage. Regardless of the routine, the consumption of caffeine is the energy boost of choice for millions to wake up or stay up. Now, however, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University have found another use for the stimulant: memory enhancer.
It’s something we just accept: the fact that the older we get, the more difficulty we seem to have remembering things. We can leave our cars in the same parking lot each morning, but unless we park in the same space each and every day, it’s a challenge eight hours later to recall whether we left the SUV in the second or fifth row. Or, we can be introduced to new colleagues at a meeting and will have forgotten their names before the handshake is over. We shrug and nervously reassure ourselves that our brains’ “hard drives” are just too full to handle the barrage of new information that comes in daily. According to a Johns Hopkins neuroscientist, however, the real trouble is that our aging brains are unable to process this information as “new” because the brain pathways leading to the hippocampus-the area of the brain that stores memories-become degraded over time. As a result, our brains cannot accurately “file” new information (like where we left the car that particular morning), and confusion results. A study on the subject appeared in the May 9 Early Online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Seven Johns Hopkins researchers from four of the university’s schools have been elected by their peers as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Pierre A. Coulombe, Ph.D., and Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, Ph.D, of the Bloomberg School of Public Health; David Draper, Ph.D., of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; David J. Linden, Ph.D., and Cynthia Wolberger, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine; and Peter C. Searson, Ph.D., and Denis Wirtz, Ph.D. of the Whiting School of Engineering; are among 531 new fellows around the world. Election as a fellow honors their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.