Super-sized memory is trainable and long lasting / S'entrainer pour doper sa mémoire

Note: Related scientific article below / L'article scientifique en question est plus bas.

Lien vers l'article de vulgarisation en français / Link to outreach article in French

Radio-Canada:

Résumé
"Certains peuvent penser que la mémoire phénoménale est un don, mais c'est rarement le cas. Des chercheurs ont découvert qu'une méthode mnémotechnique employée par plusieurs champions du monde permet d'améliorer ses aptitudes de façon importante – si on est prêt à s'entraîner."

Summary (translation)
Many think that super-sized memory is a gift, but it's rarely the case. Researchers tested a mnemonic technique used by world champions to increase memory capacities in a significant way - as long as you train and put your mind to it. 
 

Lien vers l'article de vulgarisation en anglais / Link to outreach article in English

Science Daily:

Summary
"The ability to perform astonishing feats of memory, such as remembering lists of several dozen words, can be learned, researchers report. After 40 days using a strategic memory improvement technique, individuals who had typical memory skills at the start and no previous memory training more than doubled their memory capacity, going from recalling an average of 26 words from a list of 72 to remembering 62. Four months later, recall performance remained high."

Résumé (traduction libre)
La capacité de faire preuve d'une mémoire extraordinaire, comme mémoriser une liste de plusieurs douzaines de mots, peut être acquise, selon des chercheurs. Après 40 jours d'entrainement en utilisant une technique de
mémorisation stratégique, des individus ayant
une mémoire typique au préalable et n'ayant
jamais subi d'entrainement semblable, ont plus
que doublé leur capacité de mémorisation,
passant de 26 mots mémorisés, sur une liste en
comptant 72, à 62 mots. Quatre mois plus tard, leur
capacité de mémorisation est demeurée très élevée.


SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE

Mnemonic Training Reshapes Brain Networks to Support Superior Memory

Dresler, M., Shirer, W. R., Konrad, B. N., Müller, N. C. J., Wagner, I. C., Fernández, G., ... & Greicius, M. D. (2017). Mnemonic Training Reshapes Brain Networks to Support Superior Memory. Neuron, 93(5), 1227-1235.

(Link to scientific article / Lien vers l'article scientifique)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Memory champions show distributed functional brain network connectivity changes
  • Mnemonic strategies for superior memory can be learned by naive subjects
  • Mnemonic training induces similarity with memory champion brain connectivity
  • Brain network dynamics of this effect differ between task and resting state

SUMMARY

Memory skills strongly differ across the general population; however, little is known about the brain characteristics supporting superior memory performance. Here we assess functional brain network organization of 23 of the world’s most successful memory athletes and matched controls with fMRI during both task-free resting state baseline and active memory encoding. We demonstrate that, in a group of naive controls, functional connectivity changes induced by 6 weeks of mnemonic training were correlated with the network organization that distinguishes athletes from controls. During rest, this effect was mainly driven by connections between rather than within the visual, medial temporal lobe and default mode networks, whereas during task it was driven by connectivity within these networks. Similarity with memory athlete connectivity patterns predicted memory improvements up to 4 months after training. In conclusion, mnemonic training drives distributed rather than regional changes, reorganizing the brain’s functional network organization to enable superior memory performance.