Episode 2 | Fading Fast: Learning & Memory in Aging

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, Still Alice, Memento: What’s the common theme among these movies- Forgotten memories. How does one forget memories, and why does this process get worse as we age? Do scientists understand this complicated phenomenon, how do they study it? Julia Bandura, a Research Radio team member, and a PhD student in the department of physiology at the University of Toronto tries to answer some of these questions in the second episode of Research Radio. Julia talks about her own experiences studying memory in an unusual and slimy animal-the pond snail! Can one even understand how humans form memories by studying animal models?

Julia sits down for a chat with Dr. Paul Frankland, senior scientist at SickKids hospital, and Associate professor in the department of physiology to find out more. Turns out, yes, animals are pretty good at helping us figure out the mechanisms underlying memory. In fact, the Nobel prize in physiology/medicine in 2000 was shared by Eric R Kandel, for his discoveries on the mechanisms underlying memory by studying the lowly sea slug! Listen to find out more about how memory deteriorates as we age, and what we can do to reduce this process.

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