Take Your Memory With You


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Take storytelling for example.

30 tips on how to improve your memory

In one study on the audience-tuning effect, participants watched a video of a bar fight. In the video, two intoxicated men get into a physical confrontation after one man has argued with his friend, and the other has seen his favourite football team lose a match. Afterwards, participants were asked to tell a stranger what they had seen. One group was told that the stranger disliked one of the two fighters in the video.

The other group was told that the stranger liked this same fighter. Unsurprisingly, this extra information shaped how people described the video to the stranger. Participants gave more negative accounts of the behaviour of the fighter if they believed the stranger disliked him. When participants later tried to remember the fight in a neutral, unbiased way, the two groups still gave somewhat differing accounts of what had happened, mirroring the attitude of their original audience.

Results like these show us how our memories can change spontaneously over time, as a product of how, when, and why we access them. In fact, sometimes simply the act of rehearsing a memory can be exactly what makes it susceptible to change. In a typical study of this effect , participants watched a short film, then took a memory test a few days later.

Vince Gill - Take Your Memory with You ( Grand Ole Opry 1992 )

But during the days between watching the film and taking the final test, two other things happened. First, half of the participants took a practice memory test. Second, all of the participants were given a description of the film to read, which contained some false details. The aim of these studies was to see how many of the false details people would eventually reproduce in the final memory test.

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Hundreds of studies already show that people will unwittingly add false details like these to their memories. But these studies found something even more fascinating. Participants who took a practice memory test shortly before reading the false information were more likely to reproduce this false information in the final memory test. In this case, practice makes imperfect. Read more: The 'real you' is a myth — we constantly create false memories to achieve the identity we want. Why might this be?

Memory and Traumatic Brain Injury | Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC)

One theory is that rehearsing our memories of past events can temporarily make those memories malleable. In other words, retrieving a memory might be a bit like taking ice-cream out of the freezer and leaving it in direct sunlight for a while. When I called thenyear-old John Wooden , retired from a legendary career as a basketball coach, to schedule an interview, he wrote it in a calendar.

Then, he called me the day before to confirm I was still coming to see him — he was reminding me! Humans are curious from an early age. My young son loves the adventures of the mischievous Curious George and of learning about the world. Our curiosity blossoms with age, but we typically become interested in different things as we get older. After all, Curious George is not the favorite bedtime reading of most adults. To test your own level of curiosity and memory, read the following trivia questions, decide how interested you are in learning the answers on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not interested at all, and 10 being extremely interested , and then try to come up with answers the answers are at the very bottom of this article :.

What mammal sleeps the shortest amount each day?

Memory and Traumatic Brain Injury

What was the first product to have a bar code? What was the first nation to give women the right to vote? These are fairly difficult trivia questions, and some are probably more interesting to you than others. In one study done in my lab, younger and older adults were given questions like those that you just read. Much like those, all of the queries were chosen such that we guessed almost none of the participants knew the correct answers.

Afterwards, the subjects gave each a curiosity rating — showing how interested they were in learning the answer. They were then told the answers. A week later, the same subjects were presented with the same questions and asked to recall the answers. It was the older adults who remembered the ones they were more curious about — and they forgot the less interesting ones.

People sometimes worry about having too many stray facts in their minds. Our surroundings can influence how we remember things. Have you ever found yourself in the kitchen and not had the faintest idea what compelled you to go there? This is a common occurrence for everyone, but especially for older adults. Some research suggests that walking through doorways or crossing physical boundaries may actually trigger forgetting.

When you move from one place to the next, the doorway leads to a new environment that does not provide the necessary cues to remember what you were doing in the other room.


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As you enter the new room, your brain must either keep in mind or re-create what you were thinking when you were in the earlier room — but our minds often wander as we go to another room or we start thinking about something else. The best way to remember what you need is to walk back into the first room where you originally had the thought of why you needed to go to the other room. The context of that original room can trigger your original intention. In addition, walking is one of the best ways to keep your memory sharp. Our beliefs about our memory can be very influential.

Stereotype threat has been examined to determine if it causes older adults to underperform on tests of memory.

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Take Your Memory With You Take Your Memory With You
Take Your Memory With You Take Your Memory With You
Take Your Memory With You Take Your Memory With You
Take Your Memory With You Take Your Memory With You
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