Published May 2022 on YouTube

Understand & Improve Memory Using Science-Based Tools | Huberman Lab Podcast #72

1. Memory, Improving Memory

Andrew explains how memories are formed and how they are related to past and future experiences. He shares specific tools grounded in over 100 studies to enhance learning and memory. He also discusses unlearning and forgetting, and how to unload the emotional weight of traumatic experiences.+

2. Eight Sleep, Thesis, InsideTracker

Memory Tools:Andrew shares tools to encode and remember specific events better, including the importance of temperature control for sleep. He recommends Eight Sleep mattress covers for personalized temperature regulation and shares his positive experience with it. He also briefly mentions Thesis, a company that creates custom nootropics for different types of brain operations.+
Personalized Nootropics:Andrew talks about the benefits of using personalized nootropics from Thesis and how they have helped him with focus and energy. He shares how Thesis has created blends for specific goals and uses only the highest quality ingredients. Listeners can take a three-minute quiz on TakeThesis.com/Huberman to get their own personalized nootropics starter kit. Title: InsideTracker Topics: Blood work, Personalized nutrition Summary: Andrew discusses the importance of getting regular blood work done and how InsideTracker has solved the problem of not knowing what to do with the results. InsideTracker's easy-to-use dashboard provides specific nutritional supplementation and behavioral tools to help bring numbers into the proper ranges. Listeners can get 20% off any of InsideTracker's plans by going to InsideTracker.com/Huberman.+

3. Understanding Memory

Andrew explains how our nervous system converts physical events into electrical and chemical signals and how memory is simply a bias in the likelihood that specific neural circuits will be activated again. He also discusses why we remember certain things and not others and teaches listeners how to leverage the process of memory to remember information better.+

4. Context & Memory Formation

Andrew explains how memory works and how each individual thing that we remember is linked to something by either a close, a medium, or a very distant association. He discusses how we can leverage the natural biology of our nervous system to enhance learning and memory of particular perceptions and information.+

5. Learning and Memory

Andrew discusses the history of the study of learning and memory, specifically the role of repetition in remembering information. He explains how Ebbinghaus developed the first learning curves and how sheer repetition is sufficient to learn, even if the information is not interesting.+

6. Why We Remember

Andrew explains how memories are formed through the strengthening of connections between neurons that fire at the same time. He also debunks the myth that new neurons are added to the brain when we learn something. Instead, existing neurons strengthen their connections through repetition or strong activation. Andrew then explores how to get strong activation of neural circuits for better learning and memory retention.+

7. Different Types of Memory

Memory Types:Andrew explains the differences between short-term and long-term memory, and gives examples of how they work in our everyday lives. He also introduces the concept of working memory and explicit memory.+
Explicit and Implicit Memories:Andrew explains the difference between explicit and implicit memories, and how all explicit memories can be moved to implicit memories. He uses the example of walking to show how procedural memories can be both explicit and implicit.+

8. The Seahorse Structure

Andrew explains the physical structure of the hippocampus, the site where explicit declarative memories are formed, and contrasts it with implicit memories that are formed and stored elsewhere in the brain.+

9. Memory and the Hippocampus

Andrew discusses the role of the hippocampus in memory and how it was studied through the clinical case of patient HM, who lost all explicit memory after the removal of his hippocampus due to intractable epilepsy. The case highlights the importance of the hippocampus in forming new memories and how memories are stored in different brain areas.+

10. Emotion & Memory Enhancement

Memory and Learning:Andrew discusses the case of HM, a patient who had neurosurgery that affected his ability to form new memories but not his implicit knowledge. He explains how this case has taught us much of what we know about human learning and memory. Andrew also shares an interesting anecdote about how HM's residual capacity to learn new information was tested through telling him the same joke multiple times.+
Memory and Emotion:Andrew discusses how memory and emotion are related and how emotions can enhance memories. He uses the example of HM, a patient who lacked explicit declarative memory but had an implicit memory of having heard a joke before. Andrew explains how emotions and particular neurochemicals can be leveraged to learn specific information faster and remember it for a longer period of time.+

11. Memory Enhancement

Enhancing Memory:Andrew discusses the neural level of repetition and how it strengthens nerve connections to enhance memory. He also talks about how James McGaugh and Larry Cahill's experiments established a way to accelerate repetition-based learning to establish stronger connections between neurons that generate memory or behavior more quickly.+
Emotional Memory Boost:Andrew discusses a study that shows how emotionally intense language can improve memory retention. Subjects were asked to read either a mundane paragraph or an emotionally intense one, and then later asked to recall the content. The results showed that the emotionally intense paragraph was remembered far more accurately.+

12. Enhancing Memory

Enhancing Memory:Andrew discusses how emotionally laden experiences are more easily remembered and how stress and certain neurochemicals can improve our ability to learn information. He shares experiments done on animal models and human subjects to explain how one trial learning works and how epinephrine plays a crucial role in the process.+
One Trial Learning:Andrew explains how one trial learning can occur for both positive and negative events, and how the release of adrenaline plays a crucial role in this process. He shares an experiment that shows how a boring paragraph can be remembered and retained as emotionally intense information if the subject's arm is placed in ice water, leading to the release of adrenaline.+

13. Adrenaline & Cortisol

Andrew explains the difference between the release of epinephrine and cortisol in the body and brain. He also discusses the importance of emotional state in learning and memory, and offers alternative tools to improve memory without inducing the release of adrenaline.+

14. The Neuro Chemical State

Andrew Huberman explains that the neuro chemical state, not just emotion, plays a crucial role in memory formation. High levels of adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol can quickly stamp down a memory, strengthening neural connections and removing the need for repetition.+

15. Enhancing Learning with Caffeine

Enhancing Learning:Andrew explains how understanding the release of neurochemicals can enhance learning. He also discusses how caffeine affects the brain and body by blocking the effects of adenosine.+
Caffeine's Effects:Andrew explains how caffeine affects the brain's neurochemical systems, reducing fatigue, increasing alertness, and enhancing the efficacy of dopamine receptors. He also discusses the optimal time to consume caffeine to enhance learning and memory.+
Enhancing Learning:Andrew discusses the best time to take stimulants like caffeine or Alpha GPC to enhance learning and memory. Contrary to popular belief, it is best to take them after the learning episode, either late in the learning episode or immediately after.+

16. Enhancing Learning

Andrew Huberman discusses how sleep and naps can enhance learning and memory, but emphasizes that it is not necessary to nap immediately after learning. Instead, he suggests spiking adrenaline in a safe way to reduce the number of repetitions required to learn. He also stresses the importance of being safe and gradually introducing any substances that may spike adrenaline.+

17. Enhancing Learning with Adrenaline

Andrew explains how to enhance learning and memory by spiking adrenaline after learning. He suggests using non-pharmacological methods like cold showers, ice baths, and running to increase adrenaline levels. He also discusses the use of pharmacological methods like caffeine and Alpha GPC, but warns against using prescription drugs without a prescription.+

18. Enhancing Learning

Andrew emphasizes the importance of adrenaline in enhancing learning and memory. He explains that anything that increases adrenaline will reduce the number of repetitions required to learn something, and anything that reduces adrenaline will impair learning. He also discusses the importance of the timing of adrenaline release, stating that it should occur either very late in an attempt to learn something or immediately after an attempt to learn something.+

19. Enhancing Learning

Andrew explains that chronic stress and adrenaline can inhibit learning and memory, while acute, sharp increases in adrenaline and cortisol can enhance learning. To leverage this information, it's important to get into a calm and alert state, focus on what you're trying to learn, and then spike adrenaline afterwards to reduce the number of repetitions required to learn.+

20. Memory and Stress

Andrew discusses the use of stress to enhance memory and how this technique has been used for centuries. He shares a medieval practice of throwing children in the river to encourage memory retention and how it relates to the modern-day use of cold water-induced adrenaline to enhance learning and memory.+

21. Amygdala's Role in Memory and Fear

Neural Mechanisms:Andrew describes the role of the amygdala in detecting novel events in the environment and how it strengthens particular connections in the brain based on emotional saliency. He emphasizes the importance of both negative and positive emotional states in laying down memory and how the amygdala establishes and gate contingencies.+
The Amygdala's Generalization:Andrew explains how the amygdala's generalization can cause fear and anxiety in response to sensory events, and how PTSD can increase adrenaline and lead to generalized fear of people, places, and things associated with a traumatic event.+

22. Exercise and Memory

Andrew discusses the effects of exercise on learning and memory, specifically how cardiovascular exercise can increase the creation of new neurons in the dentate gyrus, a subregion of the hippocampus involved in memory formation and consolidation. He also mentions that getting a minimum of 180-200 minutes of zone two cardiovascular exercise per week can enhance longevity and indirectly impact neurogenesis.+

23. Hormones from Bones

Andrew discusses the endocrine effects of hormones produced by bones, specifically osteocalcin, and how they travel through the bloodstream to enhance the function of the hippocampus. He also talks about the effects of exercise on the release of osteocalcin and its benefits for memory and brain function.+

24. Brain-Body Relationship

Andrew explains how the relationship between the brain and body is maintained through exercise and the release of osteocalcin. Movement is crucial for the brain to update its circuitry, and load-bearing exercise is particularly important for inducing the release of osteocalcin.+

25. Exercise and Learning

Andrew discusses the best time to exercise to enhance learning and memory. While there is no super protocol yet, Wendy Suzuki's lab has found that exercising at least two hours before learning enhances memory. However, if the exercise spikes adrenaline, it's best to exercise after learning.+

26. Photographic Memory

Andrew Huberman debunks the myth of photographic memory and highlights its drawbacks. He also talks about the challenges faced by people with photographic memory and the professions that suit them.+

27. Face Recognition Abilities

Andrew explains the concept of super recognizers, people with an exceptional ability to recognize faces and match them to templates. This ability is not memory per se, but rather a hyperfunctioning of the fusiform gyrus, a face recognition area in the brain. Andrew also discusses the opposite end of the spectrum, face blindness, and how visual function can enhance our memories.+

28. Memory and Photography

Memory snapshots:Andrew discusses the value of visual images for laying down memories and how taking mental snapshots can help. He talks about a study that explores the effects of taking photos on memory and how people are outsourcing their visual memory of events into their phones.+
Enhancing Memory:Andrew discusses a study that shows taking photos of objects, places, and people enhances memory for those things. However, it also inhibits the ability to remember auditory information. The study found that volitional control of what to take photos of is important for enhancing memory.+
Memory and Photography:Andrew discusses a study that found taking photos, even if never viewed again, can enhance visual memory significantly. The study also found that taking a mental snapshot of something can have a similar effect on memory as taking an actual photograph. This has implications for learning and understanding visual information.+

29. Déjà Vu

Andrew discusses the neural basis of deja vu and how it reflects a normal pattern of encoding experiences within the hippocampus. The firing of neurons in a particular sequence leads to a particular memory of an experience, and whether those neurons are played in the same or different sequence, or all at once, evokes the same behavior and memory.+

30. Daily Meditation Benefits

Daily Meditation Benefits:Andrew discusses a study by Wendy Suzuki on the benefits of daily meditation. The study found that daily 13-minute meditation sessions for eight weeks improved attention, memory, mood, and emotion regulation in non-experienced meditators.+
Meditation for Cognitive Function:Andrew discusses a study that shows how just 13 minutes of meditation a day can improve learning, memory, mood, and attention. However, the study also found that late-night meditation impaired sleep quality, emphasizing the importance of non-sleep deep rest protocols for reducing stress.+
Meditation and Attention:Andrew discusses how meditation can improve attention and cognitive ability, but also inhibit sleep if done too close to bedtime. Daily meditation of at least 13 minutes for eight weeks can enhance attention and memory, but non-sleep deep rest techniques like Yoga Nidra can induce deep relaxation with low attention. Andrew plans to increase his meditation time to 15 minutes a day and do it early in the day to avoid sleep inhibition.Show transcript +

31. How to Enhance Memory

Andrew Huberman explains how to enhance memory through emotional saliency, neurochemicals, exercise, and meditation. He emphasizes the importance of adrenaline in memory formation and how it can be evoked through safe behavioral protocols or pharmacology.+

32. Support and Supplements

Andrew discusses ways to support the podcast, including subscribing, leaving reviews, and checking out sponsors. He also talks about the benefits of supplements for enhancing sleep, focus, and learning, and introduces Momentous Supplements as a partner for high-quality, single-ingredient formulations.+