Can the memory palace slow age-related memory loss?

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I've been quiet on the blogging front lately, but I never actually went away! I've been working on several articles that I'm REALLY excited about, and I can't wait to share them with you! Stay tuned :)

Today I'm over at Scientific American MIND, talking about using the memory palace (aka method-of-loci) to slow down memory loss that occurs with normal aging. What's the evidence? Does it actually work? And what does virtual reality have to do with anything? Head over there and check it out.

This is the last instalment a series exploring the brains behind exceptional memory and the method-of-loci: to what extent is it natural and learnt? How fast can a complete novice pick up a mnemonic? Can memory training help those suffering from memory impairment and depression? Finally, what’s going on in the brain as one masters the method of loci? Read the rest here. Image credits: SpY

 

And finally, a teaser:

Sensory deprivation was once thought to be the ultimate psychological torture device. Now it is becoming North America's new drug-of-choice. Across the continent "float houses" are increasing in popularity, offering eager psychonauts a chance to explore this unique state of mind. Those running the business are quick to list the health benefits of frequent "floats", which range from the believable – relaxation, heightened senses – to the seemingly nonsensical. Are these proclaimed benefits backed up by science or are they simply new-age hogwash?

To get some answers, I decided to try it out.

 Sensory deprivation in an isolation tank. Source: floathouse.ca

Sensory deprivation in an isolation tank. Source: floathouse.ca