DailyDirt: Memories Are Not As Reliable As They Used To Be

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Normally, when we remember something, we can estimate how reliable our memory is — but not always. Sometimes it’s hard to know if a particular memory is actually true. Our brains can forget details and fabricate things to fill in the gaps. More and more psychological studies seem to suggest that our memories are far more flexible than we might like them to be. Implanting fake memories isn’t as hard as it sounds, and in the future, the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind might seem less far-fetched. Here are just a few things you might want to remember about remembering.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Memories Are Not As Reliable As They Used To Be”

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Binko Barnes (profile) says:

Every person I’ve ever met massively underestimates the degree to which the subconscious mind re-organizes and alters perceptions and memories in order to protect and bolster the self.

People tend to think of the mind as some kind of computing device that calculates things and stores memories. In reality it is an organ that has evolved with one purpose – to protect it’s host and make it feel secure, even if it means warping our view of reality.

aldestrawk says:

stress and memory

The linked article about traumatic experiences and memory is incorrect. I haven’t read anything by the psychologist whose research the article is about, so it might be the author, and not the psychologist, got things a little wrong. Research in neurophysiology shows that stressful events are more memorable as stress hormones increase the ability of the hippocampus to lay down new memories. That doesn’t mean that those memories are particularly accurate and this is where the confusion might have originated.

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