Memories & Forgetting

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I've been listening to lots of podcasts recently as I sew and wow, came across one from Radiolab about memories & forgetting. Turns out what they propose in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind--erasing specific memories--is possible! You take a drug that prevents new proteins from forming between neurons as you are remembering something and poof! You're able to forget it a lil more easily. Painful memories aren't as painful anymore.

It got me thinking about what we would be like without our memories... if we were like goldfish or something. We wouldn't be able to learn & retain new tasks. Remembering names would be even moooore difficult... actually impossible! Would we wander around aimlessly? Would we have no personalities? Eerie! In the show, they corrected: there is no filing cabinet of perfect memories stored away in our brains. Memories are more of re-collections... Every time we recall a memory, we reform the memory. According to sexy genius nerd that is Jonah Lehrer, "the more you remember something, in a sense the less accurate it becomes." It's an act of creation, imagination, time, the present! And that's amazing!

Oh man... so many brain explosions. Listen/dload the clip here.

btw, this is jonah lehrer. told you so.

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