Sep 282015
Card catalog illustrates vagaries of memories

The vagaries of memory: we think of it acting like a card catalog, but, sadly, it’s not.

The vagaries of memories are well-documented, and sometimes disconcerting. When we remember an odd fact or experience, sometimes researching memory recall can help you understand the situation.

Yesterday, riding in the car with my husband, I observed a young man waiting for the pedestrian light. His profile sparked a memory out of nowhere. “That looks like Terry Michelakis*,” I told my husband. Hubby gave me his famed single raised eyebrow, a feat that only our dog can mimic, implying I would need to fill him in on the inner workings of my brain for that comment to make sense. As I explained that Terry was a kid with whom I grew up and about whom I hadn’t thought about him in at least 30 years, the eyebrow lowered, but hubby still looked a little bewildered. Continue reading »

Jul 162015
A couple trying to remember somethings and not others

Understanding why we remember some things and not others might help facilitate recall.

Have you ever wondered why you remember some things but not others ? Have you ever wondered why some things come back to you seemingly out of the blue? You think to yourself, “That’s funny, I haven’t thought about that in years.”

Actually, it’s better than funny. The science behind how memory works is fascinating and cool.

Obviously, “How Memory Works” is a topic far beyond the scope of a single blog post. But it is fun to take a look at what scientists call episodic or autobiographical memories—the events of our pasts.

The memories we have and are able to recall are critical to how we think of ourselves. Researchers Martin A. Conway and Christophe Pleydell-Pearce explain, “autobiographical memory is of fundamental significance for the self, for emotions, and for the experience of personhood, that is the experience of enduring as an individual, in a culture, over time.” Continue reading »