“Ctrl+S” Gives You Permission to Forget

Pressing Ctrl-S is a reflex for me, born in the heyday of the Blue Screen of Death and activated every few sentences of text, or every few words in the case of some of my more laborious college term papers. Though it’s far less necessary with today’s more stable technology, I still consider it a…

Two sides to learning to think ahead

Today, I’m celebrating my latest article reaching the final stage of publication. Time to see how well I do explaining my own research for a broad audience. My mother once told me that when my sister and I were children, she didn’t envy the parents with the adorable tiny newborns, or the parents with teenagers…

To Wake, Perchance to Remember (Your Dreams)

My morning coffee is often accompanied by a series of text messages from my sister relaying her latest bizarre dream. The latest installments the Annals of Sisterly Nighttime Hallucinations have featured piano sheet music composed by threading different colors of cross-stitch floss, a dryad guilt-tripping her for standing on rotten acorns, being left to be…

Amnesia at the Movies

Hollywood has made so many films featuring amnesia – from the reasonably accurate Memento to the purely fictional Long Kiss Goodnight – that there are legitimate scientific articles analyzing the portrayal of amnesia in films. But there are at least two forms of amnesia that seem underrepresented; a movie aficionado might find particular scenes or instances that illustrate…

The Memory Cost of a Snapshot

When I had a chance to tour the Louvre a few years back, I have to admit to not being that inspired by the Mona Lisa. Perhaps it was something to do with the view, which was as much of the crowd and their cameras as it was of DaVinci’s famous portrait: The camera snapshot…

This Is Your Brain At Rest

One of the hardest myths of the mind to counter is the myth that we only use 10% of our brain. It sounds like an attempt at motivation – think how awesome we could all be, if we just lived up to our potential! – but the brain is in the “use it or lose…

A Picture Is Worth…

…a thousand lies, according to a 2002 article reporting how Photoshopped pictures of childhood hot air balloon rides, used in interviews with college students, successfully created false memories for about a third of the participants. …less than 45 words, according to the 2005 follow-up (by the same lead researcher) that compared the Photoshopped photos to a…

Remembrance of things past

As I have visited a dozen monuments of World War II in the past few weeks – to the RAF in the Battle of Britain, to the Londoners who helped fight bombs and fire in the Blitz, to the Jews murdered in the Holocaust, to a man who tried to assassinate Hitler in 1939 –…