Marijuana and the Enhancement of Episodic Memory

„A memory is a beautiful thing, it’s almost a desire that you miss.“

Gustave Flaubert, French writer (1821-1880)


Our memory is simply amazing. We can store information about thousands of situations but also abstract knowledge, theories, learned routines as well as practical skills like ice-skating or driving a car. Our memory keeps relevant information poised to meet our daily needs and plans, enables us to recognize people and places and facilitates remembering past events. With its various functions, memory constitutes the cognitive basis for our personal identity, for our decision-making, our present actions, and our attitude towards the future. Our memory defines who we are. Memory is everything.

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Marijuana, Dopes, and Cognitive Enhancements

Norbert Wiener, American mathematician and philosopher (1894 –  1964)

When genius mathematician and originator of cybernetics Norbert Wiener moved with his family from Cambridge to Newton, his wife organized the move and let Wiener concentrate on his work as a professor at MIT. She knew her notoriously absent-minded husband would be of no help to her. She also knew he would forget they had moved so she gave him a piece of paper with the new address of their home. Later during his work, Wiener spontaneously came up with an insight, found the piece of paper in his pocket, scribbled down the idea, but then, finding an error in his workings, threw away the piece of paper. In the evening he drove home to his old address and soon realized that he did not live there anymore. The note in his pocket was gone. Wiener had no clue anymore where he lived, so he asked a little girl on the street: “Excuse me, perhaps you know me. I’m Norbert Wiener and we’ve just moved. Would you know where we’ve moved to?” The young girl replied, “Yes, Daddy. Mommy thought you would forget.”

The “absent-minded professor”-phenomenon has long become a stereotype and a popular character in countless comedies.

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