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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2
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1answer
81 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
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1answer
71 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
96 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
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2answers
2k 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
137 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
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1answer
82 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
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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 ...
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0answers
52 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
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3answers
492 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
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1answer
721 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
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1answer
105 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
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2answers
107 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
314 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
86 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
109 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
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2answers
257 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
92 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
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1answer
70 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 ...
8
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1answer
244 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
176 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
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1answer
58 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
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0answers
109 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
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3answers
237 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
70 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
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3answers
128 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
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3answers
293 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
178 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, ...
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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
334 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
212 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
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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
119 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
122 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

How does knowledge about a subject aid in its recall?

I've experienced it many times with my students and also with myself. Let me illustrate with example: When I'm teaching, I say something like this: Gastrointenstinal Track has following sections ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

Validity of regression therapy and degree of acceptance of the subject within the psychology community

I had a debate with my friend on regression therapy as he feels it is an accepted method to discover a person's past life & his memories. I find it completely unacceptable to my sense. What ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How do songs trigger memories associated with previous experiences of listening to the song?

Background: If I like a particular song, I listen to it while doing other things until I get sick of that song. This creates an extremely strong bond between the two things: the song and the activity. ...
1
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2answers
99 views

Categorization studies with a procedure similar to Shepard et al (1961) and Medin & Schaffer (1978)

I am looking for performance results from categorization studies with discrete stimulus features and reinforcement feedback. I need something like this: ...
7
votes
2answers
244 views

Will Our Brain Speed Reduce As Our Memory “Mail Boxes” Fill Up?

I recently stumbled accross the article "When the Brain's Mailbox Is Full", which can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/27/health/when-the-brain-s-mailbox-is-full.html. The article ...
7
votes
2answers
126 views

What causes people to remember events which did not take place?

How do we "remember" events which did not take place, or future events? I'm using remember as a way of describing the experience of recalling a future scenario. For instance, when you were little say ...
12
votes
1answer
478 views

Does the transcription method used (e.g., printing, handwriting, typing, voice recording, etc.) affect memory retention?

When I was in high school, one of my teachers used to make us hand print copies of materials from transparencies on an overhead projector (I may be showing my age), with the reasoning that re-writing ...
8
votes
1answer
148 views

Does typical duration of Short Term Memory differ between tasks?

The duration of Short Term Memory is a fuzzy thing; Wikipedia notes several disputes over it's length and I recently alluded to this fuzziness myself. However, I wonder if part of the apparently ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

Psychological research on memorability of passwords?

There are lots of ad-hoc rules that people are happy to propose about passwords, such as: Pick a phrase you can remember easily, and then use the initial letters. A random short sequence of letters, ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

A psychological theory that explains why people remember only the outcome?

I've read somewhere about a psychological theory that people often remember the end results or the outcome of a certain situation/discussion/conversation/etc, but not the details of it. In other ...
6
votes
1answer
439 views

What are the purported mechanisms of eidetic memory and why is it comorbid with autism?

Eidetic memory, often called "photographic" or "flashbulb" memory, is often associated with amazing feats of recall. Is the mechanism behind this phenomenon an aberration of the visualization of a ...
6
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2answers
306 views

Are there any laws of memory?

Several years ago, my adviser wrote an article discussing the observation that a hundred years of studying memory had not resulted in the discovery of a "law" of memory. He wrote (p. 247): When ...
7
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2answers
669 views

What is the average amount of new vocabulary adults retain when learning a second language?

What are the realistic/optimal (or maximal) number of words of vocabulary that can be learned (retained and later successfully accessed) by an adult learner of a foreign/second language? (Unit: Per ...