The Forgetting Pill. How and why memories change. “Even though every memory feels like an honest representation, that sense of authenticity is the biggest lie of all” –

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April 1, 2012 by yamakashi

Via Scoop.itScenario 25 club

“The brain isn’t interested in having a perfect set of memories about the past,” “Instead, memory comes with a natural updating mechanism, which is how we make sure that the information taking up valuable space inside our head is still useful. That might make our memories less accurate, but it probably also makes them more relevant to the future.” (…) The memory is less like a movie, a permanent emulsion of chemicals on celluloid, and more like a play—subtly different each time it’s performed. In my brain, a network of cells is constantly being reconsolidated, rewritten, remade. (…)

 

Reconsolidation provides a mechanistic explanation for these errors. (…) Why every memoir should be classified as fiction, and why it’s so disturbingly easy to implant false recollections. (…)”

 

“The larger lesson is that because our memories are formed by the act of remembering them, controlling the conditions under which they are recalled can actually change their content. (…) Being able to control memory doesn’t simply give us admin access to our brains. It gives us the power to shape nearly every aspect of our lives. (…) It appears that we’ll soon gain the ability to alter our sense of the past. (…)

 

The fact is we already tweak our memories—we just do it badly. Reconsolidation constantly alters our recollections, as we rehearse nostalgias and suppress pain. We repeat stories until they’re stale, rewrite history in favor of the winners, and tamp down our sorrows with whiskey. “Once people realize how memory actually works, a lot of these beliefs that memory shouldn’t be changed will seem a little ridiculous,”…. “Anything can change memory. This technology isn’t new. It’s just a better version of an existing biological process.”

Via aminotes.tumblr.com

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April 2012
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Scenario 25 Club

April 2012
M T W T F S S
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9101112131415
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