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The Memory Experience

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 10 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:357
  1. Balaji Ravichandran, editor (
  1. studentBMJ

    When the first George Bush boldly proclaimed the 1990s to be “the decade of the brain,” little did he realise how much the public's enthusiasm for neuroscience would grow. This should come as no surprise—our brains, after all, make us who we are, providing us with a sense of identity. And the media have been particularly astute in picking up stories about the mind.

    The BBC is no exception, and has commissioned a series of programmes—mostly on radio, but also on television—spanning two months, dedicated to, as it calls it, “the memory experience.”

    A two hour live special on a hot Saturday morning (22 July) might not have been the ideal way to begin the series. But it seems to have worked—almost. Presenters Mariella Frostrup and Mark Porter, a doctor and broadcaster, invited experts and special guests to provide “insights” into the cycle of human memory—from memory in the neonatal period to memory in the final decades of human life.

    What began as an interesting programme, though, became a source of worry within the first 15 minutes. Without a …

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