Friday, May 1, 2015

DARPA Aims to Accelerate Memory Function for Skill Learning

DARPA Aims to Accelerate Memory Function for Skill Learning: A new DARPA program aims to investigate the role of neural "replay" in the formation and recall of memory, with the goal of helping individuals better remember specific episodic events and learned skills. The 24-month fundamental research program, Restoring Active Memory Replay or RAM Replay, is designed to develop novel and rigorous computational methods to help investigators determine not only which brain components matter in memory formation and recall but also how much they matter.

To ensure real-world relevance, those assessments will be validated through performance on DoD-relevant tasks instead of conventional computer-based behavioral paradigms commonly used to assess memory in laboratory settings. New knowledge and paradigms for memory assessment and formation could translate into improved rehabilitation and recovery for injured warfighters challenged by impaired memory.

"Military personnel carry a growing responsibility to recount, report and act upon knowledge gleaned from previous experiences, and how well those experiences are recalled can make all the difference in how well these individuals perform in combat and other challenging situations," said Dr. Justin Sanchez, DARPA program manager. But stored memories are not inert, Sanchez noted, and are subject to subtle forces over time.