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Nat Neurosci. 2003 Jan;6(1):90-5.

Routes to remembering: the brains behind superior memory.

Author information

1
Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, University College London, 12 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK. e.maguire@fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Why do some people have superior memory capabilities? We addressed this age-old question by examining individuals renowned for outstanding memory feats in forums such as the World Memory Championships. Using neuropsychological measures, as well as structural and functional brain imaging, we found that superior memory was not driven by exceptional intellectual ability or structural brain differences. Rather, we found that superior memorizers used a spatial learning strategy, engaging brain regions such as the hippocampus that are critical for memory and for spatial memory in particular. These results illustrate how functional neuroimaging might prove valuable in delineating the neural substrates of mnemonic techniques, which could broaden the scope for memory improvement in the general population and the memory-impaired.

PMID:
12483214
DOI:
10.1038/nn988
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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