Memory

Cognitive Daily

Category archives for Memory

Product placements in movies and TV shows are becoming so commonplace that my kids now cynically take note of them whenever they appear. It wasn’t always that way. In 1982 when I first saw E.T. I had no idea that Elliott’s use of Reeses’ Pieces to lure E.T. into his home was part of a…

Imagine a critical witness being grilled in preparation for a high-profile murder case. The prosecuting attorney wants to make sure she has every angle covered, so she questions the witness over and over to double- and triple-check that he has his story right. When he finally takes the stand, he remembers every detail she asked…

How do we remember scenes?

Take a look at this quick movie. What you’ll see is two sets of three views of the same scene (our living room). For each group of three views, your job is to decide if the third view is taken from the same angle as one of the two previous views. After the first two…

[Originally posted in April 2007] Cognitive decline as we age is all over the news lately. “Brain fitness” products are available for cell phones, Game Boys, and Xboxes, all designed to prevent the natural decline in cognitive ability as we age. There’s even a significant body of work suggesting that this sort of product really…

[Originally posted in January 2008] When we watch a movie, we’re usually not conscious of the cuts made by the editor. The camera angle may change dozens of times during a scene, and we follow along as if the flashing from one viewpoint to another wasn’t at all unusual. You might think this is just…

Take a look at the following pictures of U.S. dimes. As you can see, they are slightly different from one another — the date is in the incorrect spot on one of them. Can you tell which one is “wrong”? Let’s make this a poll: Which dime has the date in the correct spot?(polls) Is…

A common defense in murder cases is “focal retrograde amnesia”: the defendant claims to have simply forgotten what occurred around the time of the crime (perhaps due having consumed too much alcohol or other drugs). In fact, “amnesia” is claimed in as many as 45 percent of murders. Psychologists know that this sort of amnesia…

Last night in the U.S. many televisions were tuned to one of the biggest spectacles of the year: the American Idol finale, where America would learn which singer had been chosen as “America’s favorite” (or, more cynically, who inspired the most teenagers to repeatedly dial toll-free numbers until all hours of the night). Greta and…

If, like me, you grew up in the U.S. in the 1970s and 80s, you probably remember the game show Name That Tune, where contestants heard brief snippets from popular songs and had to name them as quickly as possible. Even though I didn’t know most of the music, which was primarily American Standards from…

I’ll never forget the one and only time my mom made quiche for dinner. I was in fourth grade, and she had proudly followed the recipe in “Joy of Cooking” to create an exciting gourmet treat. Naturally, my sister and I absolutely hated it, but mom made us clean our plates. Choking down that quiche…