Bad Memories Stick Better Than Good. We remember the bad times better than the good because our emotions influence how we process memories, a new review of research shows.
When people recall significant, emotional events in their lives, such as their wedding day or the birth of their first child, they're generally very confident about how well they remember the details of the event. But whether or not this confidence is warranted is debatable, because details remembered with confidence often aren’t exactly correct, according to the review of research on emotional memories. Memories are generally prone to distortion over time, but researchers have found some evidence to suggest that emotional memories are more resistant to the decay processes that wear away at all memories with time, says review author Elizabeth Kensinger of Boston College.
Bad outweighs good Negative events may edge out positive ones in our memories, according to research by Kensinger and others. Memory network. Moving Your Eyes Improves Memory, Study Suggests. If you’re looking for a quick memory fix, move your eyes from side-to-side for 30 seconds, researchers say.
Horizontal eye movements are thought to cause the two hemispheres of the brain to interact more with one another, and communication between brain hemispheres is important for retrieving certain types of memories. Previous studies have suggested that horizontal eye movements improve how well people recall specific words they have just seen. But Andrew Parker and his colleagues at Manchester Metropolitan University in England wanted to know whether such eye movements might also help people recognize words they have just seen. Recognition memory differs from recall memory in that people trying to recognize words tend to make false memory errors called source monitoring errors. Lure test For example, subjects might have heard words that included “thread,” “eye,” “sewing” and “sharp”—all of which converge around the word “needle,” even though “needle” was never said.
Can Bad Memories Be Erased? New Drug Deletes Bad Memories. Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache, that you would prefer to forget?
Researchers at Harvard and McGill University (in Montreal) are working on an amnesia drug that blocks or deletes bad memories. How to Suppress Bad Memories. Scientists have uncovered a two-step process by which our brains can supposedly suppress emotional memories.
The finding, detailed in the July 13 issue of the journal Science, has implications for those suffering from emotional disorders such as depression. In the study, 16 test subjects were asked to commit to memory 40 different pairs of pictures, consisting of a “neutral” human face and a disturbing picture such as a car crash or a wounded soldier. Erasing Bad Memories: Wiping Out Unconscious Traces Is Possible. Bad memories are not only part of our conscious mind, they also leave a trace in our unconscious.
But now, new research shows that actively trying to forget an unwanted memory can help erase this unconscious trace. In a new study, researchers showed people pairs of images, and sometimes asked the participants to try to forget the first image of an object. The researchers wanted to see whether such willful forgetting could change how easily the participants could later identify an image of that object, this time hidden almost imperceptibly behind "visual noise," or a scrambled image of the object.
What Would Happen If You Put Your Hand in the LHC Beam? In this weekly series, Life's Little Mysteries provides expert answers to challenging questions.
A crown achievement of science, no doubt, but the Large Hadron Collider is a little tough for us regular folks to wrap our heads around. At full throttle, a beam of protons will whiz through the LHC's tunnel at 99.9999991 percent the speed of light, for example — but what do all those 9's actually mean? Moreover, that beam will smash into another beam traveling equally fast in the opposite direction, stopping protons dead in their tracks and causing their immense kinetic energy to convert into never-before-seen, incredibly massive particles via Einstein's famous equation E=mc^2 — but how fast are those protons really moving when they smack together?
One way to make an invisible beam markedly more tangible is to find out what it might feel like were it to run into you. What would happen if you stuck your hand in the beam? But a hole-in-the-hand isn't the worst of it. Memory Definition & Types of Memory. For us to recall events, facts or processes, we have to commit them to memory.
The process of forming a memory involves encoding, storing, retaining and subsequently recalling information and past experiences. Cognitive psychologist Margaret W. Matlin has described memory as the “process of retaining information over time.” Others have defined it as the ability to use our past experiences to determine our future path. Late-Night Meals May Interfere with Memory, Research Suggests. The hectic pace of modern life means that people are often eating at odd times of the day and night, and these shifted schedules could be taking a toll on memory, new research suggests.
A study in mice found that eating during times of day when one would normally be sleeping impaired the animals' memory for objects they had seen, even when the rats got the same amount of sleep as mice on a normal eating and sleeping schedule. Humans, like many animals, have internal clocks aligned to the daily cycles of light and dark, called circadian rhythms. Yet in today's society, these rhythms are becoming more and more disrupted, study co-author Christopher Colwell, of the University of California, Los Angeles, told reporters last week at the 44th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C. [Top 10 Spooky Sleep Disorders]
Why Painful Memories Linger. Memories of traumatic events can be hard to shake, and now scientists say they understand why.
Studies on laboratory rats have revealed, for the first time, the brain mechanism that translates unpleasant experiences into long-lasting memories. The findings support a 65-year-old hypothesis called Hebbian plasticity. This idea states that in the face of trauma, such as watching a dog sink its teeth into your leg, more neurons in the brain fire electrical impulses in unison and make stronger connections to each other than under normal situations. Stronger connections make stronger memories. Imagination and Reality Look Different in the Brain. "Turn off your mind, relax, and float down stream...
" Maybe John Lennon was onto something when he wrote those words for the Beatles' song "Tomorrow Never Knows. " It turns out that that reality and imagination flow in different directions in the brain, researchers say. The visual information from real events that the eyes see flows "up" from the brain's occipital lobe to the parietal lobe, but imagined images flow "down" from the parietal to the occipital. "There seems to be a lot in our brains and animal brains that is directional — that neural signals move in a particular direction, then stop, and start somewhere else," said Dr.
Giulio Tononi, a psychiatry professor and neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the study's co-authors. The finding, published in the November issue of the journal NeuroImage, may lead to a better understanding of how the brain processes short-term memories and how memory is connected to imagination, the researchers said. Eyewitness Testimony is Far From Perfect. This article was originally published on The Conversation. The publication contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Twenty eyewitnesses testified before the grand jury investigating the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. None of these accounts is fully consistent with any other. Moreover, eyewitnesses even gave accounts that do not agree with their own earlier versions. To the public and the media, these discrepancies have been startling. But psychological scientists who study human perception and memory are not surprised at all.
Scene of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Semantic Memory: Definition & Examples. Semantic memory refers to a portion of long-term memory that processes ideas and concepts that are not drawn from personal experience. Semantic memory includes things that are common knowledge, such as the names of colors, the sounds of letters, the capitals of countries and other basic facts acquired over a lifetime. The concept of semantic memory is fairly new.