Memory and Database

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Artificial Memory Aid

An artificial memory aid that mimics the way the human brain replays verbal information could help people with brain damage, Alzheimer's or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

The handheld device is modelled on a function of the brain known as the "phonological loop", which uses short snippets of acoustic information as a memory cue.

For example, it provides a way to remember a name before writing it down, and is the reason why songs sometimes become stuck in a person's mind.

The memory device has a speaker, a microphone and controls for recording and playing audio. To use it, a user presses 'record' and says a phrase they want to keep in mind.

The aid repeats this phrase at intervals of two minutes or, in another mode, it prompts the user to repeat the phrase at the similar intervals, repeatedly bugging them if they fail to do so.

The brain's phonological loop "records" short clips of speech and uses an inner voice to repeatedly replay them. The phrase might be generated by the brain itself, or by another person in conversation.


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