For questions about the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information in the brain. This tag encompasses research all the way from the molecular level in model organisms to abstract mathematical representations, and includes applied learning paradigms and tasks.

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3
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1answer
111 views

Are words and ideas written in a distinctive font easier to remember?

I read that serif fonts have more distinctive characters, and I was wondering if, at the brain level, the fact that something is written with more distinctive characters would be more easily ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Is there difference between a memory of a dream and memory of waking experience?

I'm very interested in dreaming and have pretty good dream recall. This makes me able to recall and distinguish hundreds of experience within my memory and label them as "dreams". I'm trying to ...
8
votes
2answers
125 views

Is it possible to create artificial thoughts in a childs mind

What I mean is, is it possible to create memories in a childs mind, memories which a child grows up to remember as real events, when infact those events never happened in real life? For example: If ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What is the psychological function of nostalgically reenacting activities from before we were born?

I'm asking specifically about nostalgia for a time before you were born, e.g. the Blitz parties / 40s tea dances that have big in the UK for the past decade, or the popularity of Speakeasy-themed bars ...
11
votes
3answers
294 views

How does the brain learn what something is for the first time?

I'm trying to understand how the idea of what a thing is originates in humans. For example, in computer science, it is possible to know what an object is and what it does, by examining its ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Do different methods of testing memory for character sequences result in different brain activation?

Assume a certain sequence of N characters, displayed on a screen one by one, that should be memorized. The speed of the display is such that it doesn't produce much extra stress. You may assume that ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Regarding “a human brain can hold enough information to fill 10 libraries”, can we quantify the memory required for a given task?

It is not the exact phrase, but I have heard variations of this claim. I am wondering whether such claim is supported by a study or experiment. I am also curious if there is a way to sort of vaguely ...
3
votes
2answers
651 views

Can intense multitasking improve fluid intelligence/working memory?

The Dual N-Back task is the only task I'm aware of that has empirical support showing that it improves working memory. It appears to improve working memory through multitasking, although this ...
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0answers
18 views

Is recall for an appropriately color coded string of symbols a good measure of level of synesthesia?

The Wiki page on Grapheme–color synesthesia says: ... one recent study has documented a case of synesthesia in which synesthetic associations could be traced back to colored refrigerator magnets. ...
3
votes
2answers
188 views

Why do people get syllables mixed up when trying to recall words?

This question is related to this question. It could be a dupe, but I am more interested in whether this is a form of "dyslexic" thinking (for want of a better expression)? I posted this question on ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

What percentage of systematic data starts to be considered random

There is a set of 100 different objects in a box. I pull out 99 of them randomly and place them on a table and ask a person to take a look, then I put all objects back into the box. After a short (5 ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

What is the lifetime of the synapse in the mature brain?

I know there is synaptic plasticity in the mature brain. There is a great number of plasticity mechanisms like LTD and LTP, acting on different time scales. Apart from the synaptic weight change, ...
7
votes
1answer
296 views

Which equation is Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve and what do the constants represent?

First off, I've come across two different forgetting curve equations. $$R = e^{-\large \frac{t}{s}}$$ where $R$ is retention, $t$ is time and $s$ is strength can be found on Wikipedia. And $$b = ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

How did Ebbinghaus decide on his number of words in a series?

Herman Ebbinghaus discovered the forgetting curve, by memorizing series of non-sensical syllables like "zod", "byh", "tef", etc., and than seeing how long it took to forget them. The results are ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Enhance recollection abilites

I hope this is a good way of asking this question. I am not generally the guy with the best memory out there, so I looked a bit into it and I am concluding my recollection phase is the weakest. It's ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What is the typical relationship between time and remembering details of events from the past?

When I try to recall details for the past few days, I can recall today's events well, yesterday's events less well, and when it comes to the day before, things start to be fuzzy and this is as fuzzy ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a term for trying to remember a word, but only remembering its first letter?

This happens to me frequently. I'll say, "Oh you know that guy... uhh... I can't remember his name. But he starts with a 'Z'." You can remember part of the word but not the whole word. Is there a ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

Is the ability to discern between living and non-living things learnt or innate?

This question What optical features do we use to distinguish “life” from “non-life”? on Philosophy SE prompted me to write this question. The question poses, do we recognise a living thing, from ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Is implicit and explicit memory a useful distinction?

In principle I understand the distinction. Implicit memory is not consciously recollected but has an automatic character i.e. while I'm solving a task in math, I'm automatically using the concept of ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

What causes varying degrees of recall of text when speaking aloud versus mentally?

Background: When i try to recall some memorised passages from a book, I find that some memories are best recalled when i speak aloud and some when i speak inaudibly in my mind. What causes varying ...
1
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0answers
59 views

Optimal learning time per day [closed]

Is there any 'value' for optimal learning time per day? I'm thinking of something like attention span, but more general.
4
votes
3answers
531 views

What exactly is IQ, and how to develop or improve it?

Some people are said to have exceptionally high IQ. What exactly is that supposed to mean? Is it possible to develop high IQ if one doesn't have it? If yes, then how?
3
votes
1answer
874 views

Why do humans' eyes enter an unfocused gaze when recalling a memory or imagining something?

The question is self-explanatory (I hope). Is this trait unique to humans? Does the direction of the unfocused gaze indicate anything about which physical part of the brain is being utilized? Is ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

How does chronic stress improve memory processes?

There seems to be more information on the detrimental effects of stress on memory. There is evidence to the contrary. Stress effects on memory: an update and integration. Schwabe L, et al doi: ...
2
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0answers
47 views

Why do people remember things when they stop trying to remember? [duplicate]

I posted this question on SE English: Antonym for ameliorate I had been trying to recall a word and it's recollection kept evading me. I remembered the word as soon as I posted the question; which ...
5
votes
2answers
108 views

Retrieving information: how can we know so fast that we don't know something?

If someone asks us something that we don't know, how can we know so fast that that's the case? Shouldn't we spend a considerable amount of time scanning our memories until we realize the information ...
7
votes
1answer
352 views

What is the scientific term for unexpected, spontaneous dream recall?

I'm interested if there's a term for spontaneous dream recall. I will try to define the phenomenon I'm talking about. Over 10 years ago, I started to notice that I can spontaneously recall dreams, ...
5
votes
0answers
90 views

Is abstract knowledge incompatible with literal memorization?

Let me describe 2 interesting cases : Solomon Shereshevsky (Luria, 1968 - the Mind of a Mnemonist) had an almost perfect literal memory. He remembers strings of hundreds of digits for years after ...
3
votes
3answers
110 views

Failing to recognise one's own work

Disclaimer: This is not a self help question, I am using myself as an example to illustrate my question. Example: I have posted many questions and answers on this site within a relatively short ...
10
votes
2answers
265 views

Why do we not remember things from the first couple of years of childhood?

As parents of a soon-to-be three-year-old, my wife and I spend a lot of time planning activities and trips for our son. However, my wife wanted to hold off on some of the big ones (i.e. Disney ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Can you retain a large number in your head for an extended period of time without distortion?

If someone where to recite "794 times 869", they might struggle to retain the numbers pitch perfect in their head as I perform the calculations. Are there any exercises one could perform to improve ...
7
votes
1answer
74 views

How does recalling a specific memory decrease depression?

Research by Serrano et al (2004) indicated that older adults with depressive symptoms showed that with increased specificity of memories, individuals show decreased depression and ...
9
votes
1answer
250 views

Is there a practical limit to the amount of knowledge a human can learn?

There's definitely progressive interference and retroactive interference, which are basically two ways that old memories and new memories can interfere with each other. But on the other hand, do ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Do repressed memories exist?

Is there such a thing as repressed memories? Suppose a person undergoes a traumatic event (e.g failing out of school, having a relative die suddenly). Is it normal for the person to act as if ...
6
votes
1answer
59 views

The comfort and appeal of vintage objects?

The vintage culture has grown very large in the last 10 years, with all sorts of collectables from furniture, to homes, to old signs and toys. Just watch the show "American Pickers" to get an idea of ...
3
votes
0answers
123 views

Steady State Topography and Advertising/Preference: Weaknesses? Criticism?

Steady-state topography is a derivation of EEG/ERPs using an evoked potential to an ongoing oscillating stimuli called the steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP). Variations in the phase ...
4
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0answers
28 views

Are there modern cognitive techniques for dealing with searching for information online?

"Google it" is a common response to questions nowadays, and it indicates that people are more and more reliant on the internet for all kinds of information. Frequently this information is not ...
6
votes
3answers
238 views

What causes an individual to not be able to hold all the details of a large project in memory?

Background: First of all, I'm not in any kind related to cognitive science, I'm a programmer. I'm not even sure that it's the right place for asking my question, but I'll try anyway. So, first of all, ...
4
votes
2answers
71 views

Is there a function between loss of memory and time?

I have 2 related questions with regards to memory capabilities and time: "Is there a function (e.g. $e^{-\Delta Time}$) with regards to memory loss?" Everyone is bound to forget over time. Is there ...
7
votes
3answers
130 views

Does a person's brain still contain a record of daily events?

Does a person's brain have a record of every event that happened during a person's lifetime? Is it possible to recall any of those events and is it possible to recall those events in detail? For ...
7
votes
3answers
307 views

How much can users hold in their short term memory

I recently undertook a questionnaire and was asked a question about short term memory. One that I just can't find an answer to at all as it seems to be so contradictory. This got me curious. How ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

How much time is required to relearn a subject after x years?

I'm searching for research answering or giving any form of insight to this question: How long does it take a person to relearn something (any type of learning) when relearning happens x, x+1, ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Does higher Electronic use relate to lower memory [duplicate]

lots of us use electronics as memory devices--making notes, reminders, etc. Does more use of electronics relate to lower retention? In other words, does not using your memory make it worse?
8
votes
1answer
344 views

What are the current suggested models for Primacy Effect in memory recall or personality impression?

What are the current suggested normative, mechanistic or phenomenological models for explaining primacy effect as was observed by Solomon Asch (1946) on personality impression, list-of-words memory ...
2
votes
2answers
220 views

Memorizing sets of items

It is often useful to memorize a set of items. Many times ordering is not important and we need to memorize a lot of sets. I already know a method for memorizing lists where we memorize an item for ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

What does the literature suggest about the optimal strategy for quickly memorizing various types of content?

I just finished reading Moonwalking with Einstein, a journalistic piece on the World Memory Championships. The book explicates the various techniques used by participants to memorize different types ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is recognition easier than recall?

The main ways of memory retrieval are recognition and recall. Why has it been found that recognition is "easier" to perform, meaning it is usually faster or is more likely to yield an accurate ...
9
votes
1answer
124 views

Can we draw conclusions about content of thoughts from neural firing patterns?

Can the neural firing patterns of animals be associated with specific kinds of thoughts? (ie Thoughts related to food, mating, or neighborly aggression?) I am curious about the speculations in ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Should fantasy distractors be avoided in multiple choice questions

Is there any reason not to include fantasy distractors (made-up wrong answers) in multiple choice tests. Examples: What is the name of the compound HCl? a) Hydrochloric acid b) Chlorohydride acid ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

What is a test called that involves indicating whether a line has the same slope as a previous image?

I would like to know the name of the following test: Participants were asked to memorize the slope of a line of a target image. Then different images (lines with varying slopes) were presented ...