Page 3.14

“Memory,” Online


Above, Elvis’s famous coif has been pasted over the faces of three famous people. Does the hair make it more difficult to recognize them?

You may un-coif the faces at the online “Memory” exhibit produced by San Francisco’s interactive museum, Exploratorium.

The website includes loads of these kinds of visual demonstrations and memory games, webcasts of lectures from cognitive scientists who specialize in memory research, even an interactive dissection of a sheep’s brain.

Another section features the paintings and drawings of a local San Francisco artist, Franco Magnani. Magnani, who works entirely from memory, depicts detailed landscapes of the small town in Italy where he grew up. To consider how the artist’s memory might have evolved over time, the exhibit juxtaposes his paintings with photographs of the same scenes.

When the site was first published, visitors were invited to post to a guestbook their earliest memories. The hundreds of contributions make for an entertaining read. Curiously, many of them mentioned food:

“I ate rat poison when I was three. The powder kind. I thought it was fun dip.”
“watching potatos turn round in the microwave”
“Eating cereal out of a red plastic bowl.”

Hat tip: Mindhacks

Image Credit: Exploratorium‘s Memory Exhibit


  1. #1 Vince Noir
    June 12, 2007

    Not really too tough to identify. Washington, Mona Lisa, and Bush?