#508 Scott Small – Forgetting: The Benefits of Not Remembering



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RECORDED ON JULY 1st 2021.
Dr. Scott A. Small is the Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University, where he is the Boris and Rose Katz Professor of Neurology. He is appointed in the Departments of Neurology, Radiology, and Psychiatry. With an expertise in Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive aging, Dr. Small’s research focuses on the hippocampus, a circuit in the brain targeted by these and other disorders, notably schizophrenia. He has pioneered the development and application of high-resolution functional MRI techniques that can pinpoint parts of the hippocampus most affected by aging and disease. His lab then uses this information to try to identify causes of these disorders. Over the years, his lab has used this ‘top-down’ approach to isolate pathogenic mechanisms related to Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive aging, and schizophrenia. More recently, his lab has used this insight for drug discovery and to develop novel therapeutic interventions, some of which are currently being tested in patients. He is the author of Forgetting: The Benefits of Not Remembering.

In this episode, we focus on Forgetting. We first talk about some of the basics of how memory works. We then talk about forgetting, bot its benefits, and conditions where it gets pathological, like Alzheimer’s. We also talk about PTDS and autism. Finally, we discuss if people should want to have better memories, and if it is possible to improve memory.

Time Links:
00:00 Intro
00:47 How memory works
14:44 Forgetting (and its benefits)
30:27 Pathologies – PTSD, Alzheimer’s, autism
44:30 Improving memory
47:31 Follow Dr. Small’s work!

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Columbia University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center: https://bit.ly/363f9ci
ResearchGate profile: https://bit.ly/2UJlgjJ
Forgetting: https://amzn.to/3vXmtAD


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