Washington University ‘Memory Hackers’ featured on PBS/NOVA

February 5, 2016
By Gerry Everding

Several Washington University in St. Louis faculty will be featured in a new NOVA special on the science of human memory scheduled to air Wednesday, Feb. 10, on PBS stations across the nation.

The PBS NOVA special “Memory Hackers” premieres Feb. 10. Watch Preview Video.

In the program, titled “Memory Hackers,” NOVA explores the cutting edge frontiers of cognitive science and molecular biology, where neuroscientists are probing our brains to unlock the secrets of human memory.

The one-hour documentary, a production of WGBH Boston, examines how memories are formed, what encompasses the act of remembering and the new technologies being used to implant, edit and even erase memories — a process that could delete our worst fears and, one day, may help us to re-write our past with the flip of a switch.

The program spotlights the work of Nico Dosenbach, MD, PhD, pediatric neurologist and assistant professor in the department of neurology at the School of Medicine; and Henry L. “Roddy” Roediger, PhD, and Kathleen McDermott, PhD, both professors in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences.

NOVA viewers also will meet Jake Hausler, a 12-year-old boy from St. Louis who is the youngest person ever discovered with HSAM (Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory). Hausler has the unique ability to remember incredible details from almost every day of his life since age 8.

Dosenbach, Roediger and McDermott are mapping Jake’s brain with new imaging technologies to uncover what makes his memory so powerful and to see if he holds the key to understanding our memory.

Washington University research on Jake Hausler, a St. Louis child with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, will be featured on the PBS/NOVA special “Memory Hackers.”