You will remember this

26 February 2006

Scientists can now predict memory of an event before it even happens. A team at UCL can now tell how well memory will serve us before we have seen what we will remember.

Scans of brain activity, published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience, indicate that the brain can actually get into the ‘right frame of mind’ to store new information and that we perform at our best if the brain is active not only at the moment we get new information but also in the seconds before.

Dr Leun Otten from UCL Psychology and the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, who led the research project that was funded by the Wellcome Trust, said: “It sounds a bit like clairvoyance in the sense that we’re able to predict whether someone will remember a word before they even see it. That’s really new - scientists knew that brain activity changes as you store things into memory but now we have found brain activity that tells how well your memory will work in advance.”

Read the full press release.