As Nelson ascends and descends Mt. Everest, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis will collect data on his mental performance by testing him on several memory tasks in the evenings after climbing.
During breaks at various camps during his climb, we'll post a new memory challenge so you can test your memory alongside Nelson's results. The time you have to complete the test will be inversely proportional to Nelson's altitude: For example, the higher he climbs, the less time you will have to complete the challenge. Have you got what it takes to go brain-to-brain with a Memory Champion?
The tests Nelson is taking during his climb are part of a larger project by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis to better understand the mechanisms underlying exceptional memory abilities. Researchers hope that, by understanding the principles of people who exhibit exceptional memory, they can better understand both general memory mechanisms and techniques by which people can improve their memories. Ultimately, the work will feed back into helping individuals who have breakdowns in memory, such as in the normal aging process, and in individuals with early stage Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.