Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Vivid Autobiographical Memory

What experiences are the most memorable? Experiences that are novel, emotionally or personally moving, or evoke strong sensory or imagery responses. Too much results in saturation though, lowering the likelihood remembered. Music, words, images, and stories are powerful activators of memory, perhaps why long ballads became such a popular route for passing down information between families and generations. Read more about this in the Rubin articles below.

The second link also talks about traumatic and 'flashbulb' memories (vivid memories of important public events), and how different aspects can be vividly remembered or forgotten - for instance context and situation, or the central events themselves.

The figure below shows the unusual 'memory bump'. Apparently experiences at ages 10-20 seem to be remembered particularly well.

An interest in sensory perception and experience is behind Sony's recent patenting of a machine that at least theoretically would use transcranial magnetic stimulation to directly activate the brain's sensory areas. Could this be more real than reality?

Vivid Autobiographical Memory
Autobiographical Memory
Sony patents sensory perception beam - Engadget - www.engadget.com.
Music Helps Memory for Words, and Words Help Memory for Music

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