Features

Your entire brain is memory—and your memory is who you are

Your entire brain is memory—and your memory is who you are

Stories we tell, our immune system’s response to invaders, and the devastation of the memory by Alzheimer disease are among the subjects of this issue of Yale Medicine.

Memory fascinates us. We’ve created a genre of literature we call memoir. We take our memories and toy with them until they form a coherent narrative, one that makes sense of our lives and allows us to live with things we might like to forget. We’re embarrassed when we have a “Rick Perry” moment and can’t retrieve from our brain something that should be on the tip of our tongue. We recall vividly...

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A T cell’s fate

A T cell’s fate

Healthy humans are born with billions of infection-fighting machines called T cells. We need so many because a T cell exists for virtually every type of virus, bacterium, or parasite. T cells respond to foreign intruders by replicating like mad to generate an army of these defenders, including killer T cells. As the infection clears, millions of those T cells die off. Only 5 to 10 percent remain in the blood, poised...

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What is memory?

What is memory?

“Close your eyes and think of a lollipop,” instructs Marvin Chun, Ph.D., professor of psychology and neurobiology....

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A memory's journey

A memory's journey

On their journey through the brain, our memories pass through the hippocampus, a temporary transit hub. Where they go...

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What’s in a doctor’s brain, and what’s online

What’s in a doctor’s brain, and what’s online

In the typical adult human, there are 206 bones, at least 700 named muscles, 78 organs, 12 pairs of cranial nerves, and...

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Our memories, our stories

Our memories, our stories

As chief resident on the arduous Osler service at Johns Hopkins in the 1960s, Thomas P. Duffy, M.D., was asked to...

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Can ginkgo tea preserve our memories?

Can ginkgo tea preserve our memories?

Fish oil, ginkgo tea, dark chocolate, and periwinkle extract have all been touted as brain enhancers, along with...

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The first things to go

The first things to go

It was at his maternal grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary that Chris H. van Dyck, M.D., first noticed something...

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Stem cells also remember

Stem cells also remember

Altruism rules among stem cells, as they remember past injuries and which are strongest. 

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