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Transcript of Memory
Fallibility and Frailty:
Memory and its Downfalls
There are two types of memory:
A memory of facts or events such as knowledge that can be consciously recalled or declared
The unconscious memory of how to perform tasks or skills
There are two types of declarative memory....
The memory of specific events or experiences that happened at a point in the subject's life
The memory of concepts,ideas or facts
Recalling an event with the use of one's episodic memory for the purposes of an investigation, often used in the judicial system.
Why is it not 100% reliable?
All conscious memories can be classified as
From the past
From the Future
Eyewitness testimonies can be influenced by:
Stress/Anxiety/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Misleading questions by the Jury/Judge
Questions asked by the judge can alter a witness’s testimony, since fragments of the memory may unknowingly be combined with information provided by the questioner, leading to inaccurate recall.
refers to the distorting influences of present knowledge, beliefs, and feelings on recollection of previous experiences. [Daniel L Schacter]
There are two types of distorted memory involving errors:
When people fail in remembering events when they try to retrieve their memories.
People remember an event differently than what actually happened.
The missing detail to complete the memory
The clear recollections that a person may have of the circumstances associated with a dramatic event
The Seven Sins of Memory
The loss of memories due to a traumatic event or accident. Many individuals with amnesia do not lose their identity but have trouble forming new memories.
When you forget a memory. For example,forgetting where you put your keys. Memory lapses are normal if infrequent, but can be caused by aging or could be a sign of Alzheimers disease.
Wait a minute...a memory from the future?!?
Yup,that's right! Well,sort of. If you remember a prospective memory you remember that you need to do something. For example, "I need to pack my Math Book tomorrow", and the next morning, you remember to pack your book(...Or at least you hope you do...) That is a prospective memory.
The decreasing ability to retrieve a memory over time. This can happen naturally with aging or due to cerebral damage and decay.
Forgetting to perform a task or lapses of attention.
The inability to access memories or information.
The changing of certain details of the memory due to deception or misleading information.
Distortions of the past due to beliefs or current knowledge.
The remembering of traumatic or unwanted memories,usually seen in individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The attribution of memories due to the belief that you have seen or heard something you haven't,or due to incorrect information.
Double Blind System
A way of determining whether there is any bias related with the information.
To avoid observer bias and conscious deception from the tester and or the subject you blind fold both, commonly known as a double blind system.
With this method we can attempt to avoid the various types of bias subjectivity that can derive from events recalled by the individuals.
The Unforgettable: Solomon Shereshevsky
What influences them?
Emotions and False Memory Syndrome
Usually linked with memory distortion where one falsely remembers an event that never actually occurred.
Strong emotions caused by acts of abuse and violence can cause the creation of these false memories.
Occurs when an individual has experienced unconsciousness and cannot remember events which have occurred after the incident; be it a few minutes or several days.
The Three Stages of Memory Process
Emotional Influence on Memory
Knowledge as a Whole
Emotions that are linked with certain memories can cause you to suppress and/or trigger memories from the past. Remembering memories that are cherished and are linked with happiness and joy that can influence the mood of that person, in an uplifting way. However, memories that bring a sense of fear and unpleasant thoughts can cause change in emotion such as anxiety, fear, being distraught and can trigger painful memories that are better left to be forgotten.
Collective History: The practice to remember certain heritage events by a collective group of people that is generally passed on through generations.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Collective Memory
Why is it a good thing to forget certain memories?
The Upside of Forgetting
Memory and Imagination
3 main ways memory can be encoded
Where the memory is stored, how long it is stored for(duration) and how much memory is stored(capacity).
The absorption of information which is then changed into a form the brain recognizes.
The storage of encoded memory.
memory is only stored for between 0-30 seconds.
memory can be stored for the entire duration of the individual's life.
Remembering information, retrieving it from memory storage.
Short Term Memory
is retrieved in sequence, by order in which we have received the information.
Long Term Memory
is retrieved by association. Researchers divide long-term memory into episodic memory (the memory of particular events in one's life, such as childhood experiences) and semantic memory (recollection of facts).
When an individual's previously repressed memory resurfaces. However, if the individual has
Recovered Memory Syndrome
they may recover a
memory. I.e the individual remembers a situation that never occurred.
After the passage of time, certain memories hold no particular value. It is best in these situations to forget particular memories and make room for more memories, ones that are more important and will be more of a help to you.
For the most part we forget memories simply because we cannot remember them and where other memories hold more importance to us.
Many emotions are related with certain memories and it is best to forget those memories of traumatic events. Many people find themselves unable to live happily under the shadows of a troubling memory. The best way is to gradually rid yourself of that memory and by doing this, it can help make your life easier and the people around you.
Hyping a memory and imagining alterations of that memory makes the original memory no longer pure. Usually occurs when certain parts of memories are forgotten and therefore need to be replaced with imagined ones. When your imagined memories seem accurate to you it is easier to believe in them.This thinking causes one to believe that the events imagined have actually occurred when in reality they have not.
Episodic Memory and Imagination- is the ability to create imaginary scenarios that are related to how well they can remember detailed events. Forming these new imagined memories is called constructive episodic simulation.
EX: when you get too excited/sad/angry/happy/ecstatic/ your brain misses out on many significant details, and so to compensate for that IMAGINATION comes into play, and fills the blanks.
Something that is remembered
The things learned and kept in the mind
The power or process of remembering what has been learned
Distorted memories of past attitudes changed to comply with current attitudes.
After improving a performance or habit (such as studying), remembering ones past performance as being more challenging than it was.
When the memory is distorted to favor stereotypes.
A changed memory or recollection of the past distorted due to present knowledge. Viewing past events as predictable.
When an individual recalls past events in their favor, such as achieving better grades than were actually achieved.
When an individual favors information to suit or confirm their perception.
Forgetting (Memory Loss)
Loss of long-term information/memory already stored in the brain. It can be spontaneous or gradual.
Forgetting can be a sign of age, or be due to a traumatic event, an injury or a disease. Most of the time, it is normal to forget small things.
speculates that it could be the active,conscious search for a memory without a visual cue that makes it so hard to recall something. Although there isn't a clear answer as to why we forget, there are many theories that try to explain why it happens, some of these include.....
Solomon Shereshevsky was a Russian man with an extraordinary condition: he had synesthesia.
While there is no concrete definition of synesthesia, we can supply a broad definition in Solomon's case.
Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which information sensed by one sensory pathway stimulates other sensory pathways. For example, Solomon would hear a word yet also see images and colors.
Solomon had very vivid memories. He remembered everything he had learned and all of his memories, even his memories from when he was a baby!
There were downsides to his condition,however. Solomon could memorize a face so perfectly that if the person aged, or their face changed naturally, it would be difficult for him to recognize the person. His imagination was so vivid that he could not enjoy literature or poetry due to figurative language. The images he imagined from reading the figurative language could contradict each other from one sentence to the next, an experience too intense for Solomon.
Memories that are incredibly clear and detailed.
Memories tend to be more clear if their is an emotional connotation or link to it, if something in the memory is strange or stands out, or if the individual has a neural condition like
How the individual or subject feels or perceives their own memory. (e.g. Nostalgic or Traumatic)
Memory not influenced by emotion or prejudice.
Certain events are given importance and recognition by the people of that society. Memorials are a way of remembering the past and informs other people from different parts of the world, to realize the importance of a certain memory that a particular nation gives importance to. Example: The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC.
It is a shame when we don't respect the memories and heritages of other nations and become biased and only give importance to our heritage; deeming it to being more important than others. Collective memory is a way of learning the past and applying the good values to today's society and never repeating the mistakes and ignorance of the regretful memories to today's society.
A testimony given by an individual based on information the individual has gathered or their memories. Personal testimony is subject to bias so it is not a reliable form of testimony.
A memory associated with an emotion, when the individual recalls the memory they feel the emotion associated. The stronger the emotion, the easier to remember the memory.
Learned Knowledge Memory
A memory of information or knowledge, the recollection of previously known knowledge uninfluenced by emotion.
Knowledge Through Memories
Our past experiences help us to face our world and to avoid trouble. Sharing and communicating memories with others helps to distribute and spread knowledge to one another and apply our memories from the past to our present.
Our gained knowledge strongly depends on the preservation and truthfulness of past memories.
as a Way of Knowing:
Memories aren't always clear due to the passage of time or the effects of neural diseases. Memories that are extremely clear are called...
a person sees a crime being committed by a redheaded man. After reading in the newspaper that the crime was committed by a brown-haired man, the witness "remembers" a brown-haired man instead of a redheaded man.
A person can have a dream that depicts them having done something and they become so convinced they did this certain act that they believe they did.
Perception and Memory
Speculation on the absolute truth of eye-witnesses led to the creation of the Innocence Project.
Studies determined that 75% of the 239 DNA exoneration cases had occurred due to inaccurate eyewitness testimonies. It goes to show that eye-witnesses don't always provide the absolute truth in court situations.
Methods of Acquiring Eyewitness Information
1. The significance or insignificance of the event.
2. The length of the period of observation.
3. Lack of ideal conditions.
4. Psychological factors internal to the witness.
5. The physical condition of the witness.
Interviews are conducted in a criminal investigation in order to acquire eyewitness information. The interviewer must ensure that they know the witnesses history, motivations, perceptions and anything that may influence the witness's credibility.
According to Charles R. Swanson,Neil C. Chamelin and Leonard Territo, "To insure accuracy of the witness's account, experts distinguish a number of factors that limit a person’s ability to give a complete account of events or to identify people accurately. The following are among those factors.
Did you know
Let's play a game...
The Tray* Game!
*Except I didn't have a tray. So it's more of a memorize-the-objects-on-a-semi-flat-surface game.
We'll show you an image for 30 seconds. When the time is up write down as many objects that were in the image as you can remember.
How many did you remember?
There were 21 objects.
The idea of something being true regardless of an individual's beliefs, opinions, experiences, etc.
I.e. A truth that is the same for all humans.
The issue with Objectivity...
The issue with Objectivity is that it is impossible to not be
subjective (Influenced by our thoughts,opinions,experiences,etc.).
We will always consider events in relation to ourselves, referring to our knowledge even if we do not mean to.
If we consider that truth is objective and exists outside of our perception, then we can conclude that truth is uncertain, as any attempt to know truth would be influenced by our own subjective truths.
In regards to memory, this means that we can not be sure of the validity of any of our memories, as they are subjective in nature.
BUT WAIT! There's more...
Vivid memories associated with a surprise or a dramatic event are called...
Influences On Memory
Memory and other Ways of Knowing
Well...We've reached the end of our presentation. Hopefully you haven't fallen asleep. Now...
Key features or elements that are attached to one's memory that help in putting together the memory when recalling them.
Occurs during near-death experiences, when one remembers their entire life play through their minds in chronological order with extreme detail.
There have been incidents where people have encountered this, without a near-death experience known as a "Out-of-body experience".
These experiences are believed to be hallucinations since there has been evidence that cultural differences influences near-death experiences.
Rationalism and Memory
Rationalism tends to be a heavy influence on memory. Often times when we have memories that are socially "wrong" or "unacceptable" we tend to rationalize them and often deny the existence of such memories, modify them, or in some cases completely forget them. This is linked to childhood amnesia.
Retrieval failure includes the decay theory. The Decay Theory proposes that memory traces are created every time a new memory is created and over time these memory traces fade and decay. If memories aren't rehearsed and retrieved (some controversy surrounds this theory) they eventually fade away and it gets harder the retrieve them.
This theory suggests that when there are memories that are similar to each other they tend to compete with each other. This causes interference, the brain tries to determine which one is the right memory causing both of the memories to be distorted or one to be erased. There are two types of interference :
When old memories are so powerful that the similar new ones are hard to recall
When new similar memories make is difficult to remember older memories
Also known as encoding failure, this theory suggests that sometimes memories never make it into the long term memory and aren't meant to. These memories aren't properly encoded in the brain.
Motivated forgetting is when people work to forget certain memories that are traumatic or undesirable to remember. There are two different categories to this:
Consciously forgetting a memory and
Unconsciously forgetting a memory
Language and Memory
Our ability to remember is often categorized into two different memory types: the memory of how to do specific things, such as buttoning a jacket or tying shoelaces; and personal and factual information memories, such as remembering a vacation or historical dates. These types of memory are both shown to be related to language.
Language and Memory
A 2010 study of 30 children between ages seven and eight -- 15 with language impairments and 15 without -- showed that children with language impairments were unable to perform memory-related tasks at a level equal to their peers. In memory games that involved visual recall as well as verbal recall, these children's performance consistently lagged.
There are many ways to improve one's memory...
Memorizing using acronyms
“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Failure to Store
Essentially, memorizing using acronyms involves using an invented combination of letters to remember something specific. So if for some random reason you wanted to remember all the Great Lakes you could use an acronym to do that!
Memory and Genetics
Some people may have an accurate memory because of a gene variation that can influence their ability to remember better than others.
BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic factor) is a gene that comes in the form of a Valine or a Methionine protein.
In a study, groups were shown different scenes and told to remember them. Ones with the Valine BDNF gene were found to remember better than the ones with the Met form, and were shown to have greater brain activity during the process of encoding.
When learning a language, one uses knowledge and understanding to comprehend the language. Then we use our memory to reconstruct the language and be able to apply our knowledge of the memory and use it to verbally communicate.
Memorizing using imaging
Associating images, physical characteristics or any relation to a person or object that may trigger and help remember what needs to be remembered.
EX: Remembering someone you met with the name, "Shirley". In order to remember the name, one can associate Shirley of having (or not having) curly hair. The "curly" can help trigger the memory of the name because curly rhymes with Shirley.
The Role of the Hippocampus
Involves in organizing, forming and storing memories. Strengthens short term memories that need to be stored as long term memories.
Any damage to the Hippocampus can cause difficulty in forming new memories. Old age is known to affect the the Hippocampus as well.
Memorizing using acrostics
Sequences of letters that helps you remember a poem or other text
Language and its influence on Memory
Often times people who speak more than one language tend to have memories in several languages. The problem that arises from this is that sometimes there aren't direct translations of certain words, and so the memory to some extent alters, and possibly the personal touch that the memory had initially may be lost.
Memory and Intuition
Intuition is associated with instinct, and innate knowledge, and is linked to ethics and knowing instinctively the ‘right’ and the ‘wrong’ way to behave. It is another of the new ways of knowing, and like faith is controversial, with some people believing that it is not a valid way of knowing, but is only a combination of other ways of knowing such as memory, emotion, and sense perception.
“People have an annoying habit of remembering things they shouldn't.”
“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
Memory and Faith
Our memories give us an understanding of the past and this can help us in having faith and believing in our memories. Certain memories have the power to question your faith regarding matters of personal importance and others to change prior opinions.
Perception is rarely accurate and colored by bias and judgement. This becomes a crucial aspect when we depend on our memory which is not always pure and is influenced by faulty perception.
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