Learning and Memory: The Brain in Action

By Marilee Sprenger | Go to book overview

2
Chicken Soup for the Brain:
The Effects of Brain Chemicals

I am trying to catch up on my journal reading late one evening when the phone rings, and I am torn away from an article on learning styles and the brain.

At first, I do not recognize the woman’s voice. She says, “Hey, there. Do you have your nose buried in some book?”

I immediately try to defend myself: “No, I’m relaxing with a magazine.”

Just as chicken soup makes your body feel better, chemicals produced in your brain make it feel better.

“I just bet it’s some educational article you’re reading and not Martha Stewart.”

Hearing the voice again, I realize I am talking to an old college friend, Maggie. “Why aren’t you at some wild party?” I reply, trying to give her a taste of her own medicine. Maggie and I had different interests in college; she was a party person, while I took my studies very seriously. However, we enjoyed teasing each other about our interests and had found a bond in that.

“I stayed home from the parties tonight because I need to talk to you about my daughter,” she says with some emotion.

I begin to search my mind for her daughter’s name, and suddenly “Michelle” pops up. “How is Michelle doing?”

These chemicals affect memories, learning, and relationships.

“We’re having some problems, and I am hoping with your brain research knowledge you can tell me what to do,” Maggie replies.

“I’m not a doctor, but you know I’ll help in whatever way I can.”

She begins to blurt out a story that is shocking but like many others reported in the newspapers. “Michelle was at a party a few months ago. You know, one of those college parties with plenty of drinking. A friend of hers drank way too much. Actually, I think he was more than a friend, and Mar, he died! Alcoholic poisoning. Michelle just hasn’t been the same since.”

-15-

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