Your memory is like a game of telephone
September 20th, 2012
05:01 PM ET

Your memory is like a game of telephone

Remember the game "telephone"? Someone starts by saying a sentence to the person next to them. That person then turns to someone else and repeats what they heard. Somehow, by the time the sentence gets to the last person in line, it's all mixed up and barely resembles the original.

Apparently our memories operate in the same way.

A study published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience looks at how we retrieve memories. It's a well-known phenomenon that retrieval is good for memory - the more you remember something, the longer you'll remember it for.

The catch, researchers have discovered, is that each time you retrieve a memory you forget or add small things to it, and the next time you recall the information, you'll remember what you remembered.

"Our memories aren’t like a photograph," says lead study author Donna Bridge. "We mix up details, we forget things. We’re likely to remember this incorrect information just as much as we are the correct (memory)."

September 20th, 2012
04:56 PM ET

Court awards $7.2 million for 'popcorn lung'

A federal court has awarded $7.2 million to a Colorado man for damages caused by the chemicals used in artificial butter flavoring of microwave popcorn.

Wayne Watson, 59, was the first consumer diagnosed with the respiratory disease bronchiolitis obliterans, also called "popcorn lung" because it's more commonly diagnosed in workers with long-term exposure to the chemical diacetyl during manufacturing.

"I've lost roughly 50% of my lung capacity," says Watson, who ate microwave popcorn about twice a day for 10 years until his diagnosis. "We won this case because the truth was on our side."

Happiness gained from moving out of high-poverty areas
Much of Harold L. Ickes Homes, a public housing project in Chicago with high poverty concentration, has been demolished.
September 20th, 2012
04:30 PM ET

Happiness gained from moving out of high-poverty areas

There’s been a lot of talk about the growing income and wealth inequality in America, especially with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Solutions have yet to arise.

Research published in the journal Science suggests that leaving a high-poverty area for one with less poverty concentration increases the well-being of the families who move. Of course, most people do not have this luxury, and more research needs to be done to determine how neighborhoods themselves can be improved.

The study

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development spearheaded a program called Moving to Opportunity in the 1990s. Families in five cities in some of the most distressed housing projects in the country were randomly assigned to move via a lottery system.

African-American and Hispanic females were most likely to be the leaders of the households in this study, and fewer than 40% of them had finished high school. The study took place in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

September 20th, 2012
01:40 PM ET

Young motocross racer silences competition again

Editor's Note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed.

This week, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to a remarkable young women named Ashley Fiolek, who won her first national motocross championship in 2008 - her rookie year.  Less than two weeks ago, she became the national champ for the fourth time.

Fiolek quickly became a role model for many girls who love this sport. Not only is she good at it, she does it without being able to hear her competitors.  Fiolek was born deaf.

She tells ESPN that this was her final season racing in the women's outdoor motocross (WMX) series, but she's not retiring.  She will continue to compete in the X-Games and hopes to branch out,  including possibly racing against men and maybe trying something new, like truck racing.

CNN Health Facebook chat: Chronic illness
Those living with chronic illness submitted photos of family members, nature and pets to show what hope means to them.
September 20th, 2012
09:32 AM ET

CNN Health Facebook chat: Chronic illness

Our story on talking to someone with a chronic illness received a tremendous, and positive, response from readers last week.

Many of you wanted to share your own stories of living with chronic illness and weigh in on how some well-meaning comments can be misinterpreted, as well as offer tips of your own.

The article's author, Lisa Copen, founded Rest Ministries to encourage others who live with chronic illness or pain. Copen has agreed to host a live chat on the CNN Health Facebook page on Friday from 12 to 1 p.m. ET. She'll be joined by others who live with chronic and sometimes invisible illnesses, as well as members of the CNN.com Health team.

So many of you have stressed the need to raise awareness of those living with chronic illness and their sometimes-daily struggle. This chat is an effort to continue that conversation with our readers. Please join us.

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Filed under: Conditions • Mind and body • Pain

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

September 2012
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