Mariella Careaga in The Scientist:
Remembering what happened to us is more than just looking back to the past. The memories our brains store and later recall affect who we are, how we behave, and how we connect with others. Morgan Barense, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Toronto, believes in that.
As people age, it becomes harder to remember specific details of past experiences, and the loss of vividness in people’s memories significantly worsens their qualities of life (1). “When you start to lose your memory for the past, that can be really disorienting because you feel disconnected, not only from the things that you’ve done, but who you are as a person,” said Barense. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of researchers led by Barense showed that a mobile memory intervention they developed helped older adults preserve detail rich memories. They also provided evidence of the patterns of brain activity in the hippocampus associated with that memory enhancement (2).