A New Smartphone Application Improves Memory Recall in Older Adults

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As people age, it becomes harder to remember specific details of past experiences and this loss of vividness in people’s memories significantly worsen the quality of their life. However, in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of researchers led by Barense showed that a mobile memory intervention they developed helped older adults preserve detail rich memories. There was also evidence of the patterns of brain activity in the hippocampus associated with that memory enhancement. With the creation of the mobile application HippoCamera, it virtually mimics some of the features of the hippocampus. During this study, to characterize these memories better, the research team used a natural language analysis tool that quantifies and identifies the affective states people communicate through words. While follow-up studies are necessarily to determine the underlying brain changes, this technological intervention can be incorporated into the lives of older adults.

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