Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

They say that some people have photographic memories. Like that dude from Criminal Minds-the annoying one. Geniuses, they are.

Turns out that you really cannot have a superhuman, exact recall memory. A Northwestern University study found that recalling events of the past are warped by the human brain.

At the time of the original event, you have the freshest recollection. ‘Retelling’ the memory overtime does not revert to the original memory-it reverts to the memory you had of the last ‘retelling’. It can get to the point where you’re outright bullshitting. Except, you believe your bullshit.

The environment has a huge influence on this phenomenon. In a new environment, a memory will ‘adapt’ to suit it. Example: A minor tiff with a friend a week ago is twisted into a major blowup in your memory a week later, because you’re in an environment that is more sympathetic to your side.

The study consisted of participants recalling the placement of an object, and recalling it a few days later. They couldn’t get the exact answer.

An implication of the findings of the study is very Law & Order: Witness testimony. If the police are constantly asking you to repeat the story, and then you have to be prepped by the DA, and finally take the stand-the truth died. It’s not lying, it’s science. Repeating and repeating everything actually doesn’t help, especially under pressure. It hurts.

Sorry, addy popping students of the world. That huge exam? Just bubble in ‘C’. You’re not even going to remember the first time you popped open the textbook. Know more.