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New Research Suggests Forgotten Memories Can Be Recovered Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Science By
Recovering Lost Memories
A man undergoing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)


I don’t know about you, but I constantly get accused of lapses in memory. And it all seems to be within the last 24-48 hours. I can sit around and tell you exact things that happened to me when I was eight, but remembering to take out the trash on a Tuesday night? Forget about it. New research, however, could help me (and you, even) remember better.

A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently published some interesting findings in Science magazine that provide some hope for us forgettable folk. After using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) on test subjects—there’s nothing sinister about it; it’s basically just a nerve-massage in your brain—the researchers found that certain memories would briefly reemerge and be recalled. In other words, “forgotten” short-term memories could be reintroduced into the person’s memory.

Obviously, the vast majority of us forgetters don’t have the luxury of owning a TMS machine to dredge up our lost memories (one TMS session apparently costs about $400-$500, according to Psychology Today). But the fact that this research shows that some memories are hiding somewhere close and just need a jolt to be “reactivated” could mean good things for people suffering from a number of ailments, including Alzheimer’s Disease and mental illness.

To read the study published in Science, click here. For a deeper dive, read Futurism‘s story on the study here.

—Will Levith for RealClearLife