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How Many of Your Memories Are Fake? - Erika Hayasaki

How Many of Your Memories Are Fake? - Erika Hayasaki
One afternoon in February 2011, seven researchers at the University of California, Irvine sat around a long table facing Frank Healy, a bright-eyed 50-year-old visitor from South Jersey, taking turns quizzing him on his extraordinary memory. Observing from outside of the circle, I tape-recorded the conversation as one researcher tossed out a date at random: December 17, 1999. “Okay,” Healy replied, “Well, December 17, 1999, the jazz great, Grover Washington Jr., died while playing in a concert.” “What did you eat that morning for breakfast?” “Special K for breakfast. Liverwurst and cheese for lunch. These are the kinds of specific details that writers of memoir, history, and journalism yearn for when combing through memories to tell true stories. In another office nearby on campus, you can find Professor Elizabeth Loftus, who has spent decades researching how memories can become contaminated with people remembering—sometimes quite vividly and confidently—events that never happened.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/how-many-of-your-memories-are-fake/281558/

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