14 July 2012

Memories are made of ...

A family wedding, Vancouver, 1955; I remember my dress - apricot eyelets and velvet ribbon sash - but not even the name of the girl holding flowers
What IS  memory, then? Something that whizzes round the brain, or is stored there, is probably the most common idea. I learned a bit about it while studying psychology at university - but that was decades ago, and much has been learned about it since.

Without a lifetime to study the neurophysiology and behavioural consequences of memory, where to start? Here, perhaps - a potpouri of articles on "maximising your memory" and insight into the processes involved in remembering.

Or here, a book about the science and stories of autobiographical memory.

Here you learn that "Memories are not stashed away, fully formed, in the vaults of the brain; they are constructed, when needed, according to the demands of the present. "

Hmm... where does the past end and the present start? Let's not go there... let's be scientific and classify the types of memory:

image from wikipedia

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