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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2answers
6k views

Why are some people unable to easily memorize the lyrics to a song?

Although I have listened some songs hundred of times I can't sing the lyrics to any of these songs from beginning to end without pauses. However I am able to whistle the whole song without difficulty. ...
5
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3answers
176 views

How do memories come up for no apparent reason? Is this evidence that we remember everything?

As I was driving, all of a sudden the name "Holden Caufield" came to my mind. It sounded really familiar. I googled the name and it was the main character in The Catcher in the Rye. The last time I ...
5
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2answers
191 views

Effectiveness of recalling information in the same location it was learned

In an interview with Robert A. Bjork this article claims that it is easier to recall information where it occurred: Similarly, studying in only one location is great as long as you’ll only be ...
5
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1answer
262 views

Why do dual N-back games use certain letters?

Every implementation of dual n-back that I've ever seen uses the set of letters 'C', 'H', 'K', 'L', 'Q', 'S', 'R' and 'T'. Why is that?
5
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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, ...
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 ...
5
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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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
108 views

Chunking Patterns and Enjoyment of Applying Patterns

I've been reading a book "The Theory of Fun in Game Design" it talks about two concepts of psychology that I wanted to confirm are true. The writer the book isn't a psychologist. The two concepts ...
4
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3answers
495 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?
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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 ...
4
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1answer
63 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 ...
4
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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 ...
4
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1answer
67 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
47 views

What are the predominant cognitive effects that influence textual learning and recall?

I am a rulebook writer and editor, and I have been digging into the literature for cognitive effects and heuristics that affect one's ability to learn and remember complicated concepts from text. For ...
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 ...
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: ...
4
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3answers
479 views

Are mnemonics by creating associations good for memory?

I read a book which says that to remember the lists of arbitrary objects, we should take a well-known ordered list (so that you know what is on the first place, what is on the second) and associate ...
4
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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 ...
4
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2answers
147 views

Does writing something on computer help memorize it?

There is an interesting question on this site: Does writing something down help memorize it? Now my question is, does writing something on computer (i.e. using Word, Notepad, ...) help memorize it? ...
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
votes
2answers
634 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 ...
3
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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, ...
3
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1answer
121 views

What was his name again…ahh got it!

You all know the situation described in the title. You forgot something and start to search your memory and then after quite a while it jumps right in front of you, out of nowhere. My questions are: ...
3
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1answer
2k views

What is a “delayed match-to-sample task”?

This question talked about how a "delayed match-to-sample task" can be used to measure an animal's working memory. What is a delayed match-to-sample task and how can it be used to measure working ...
3
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1answer
726 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 ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Is learning and memory formation mostly comprised of new synapses forming, or already-existent synapses strengthening?

I'm guessing it may be some combination of the two. If so, which is the more frequent situation? I'm also guessing it varies depending on the type of memory being formed. Let's take for instance, my ...
3
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2answers
93 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
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 ...
3
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1answer
123 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 ...
3
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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 ...
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 ...
3
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2answers
154 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
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0answers
40 views

How long could Henry Molaison keep his memory of the present?

I'm talking about Henry Molaison (HM), the famous memory research patient. I hear that he could converse normally with a researcher until he "got distracted", at which point he no longer remembered ...
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 ...
2
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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 ...
2
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2answers
270 views

Encoding of abstract concepts in memory

When you read a book and you want to remember it you can encode the information into mental pictures with associations. This is a technique for remembering the content. The problem is when you ...
2
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3answers
62 views

Does stress impair your short term memory?

I have noticed frequently, when in a very stressful situation (particularly emotional stress), I will forget things very quickly. To give an example: Recently, I got in a heated argument with a ...
2
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2answers
55 views

A type of long-term memory where I can remember full dialogues

My female colleague cannot remember a discussion (dialogue) from a couple days ago or even yesterday, much less the full, exact sentences spoken. She jokes about having sclerosis. I can remember many ...
2
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1answer
36 views

What test could I use to measure the short-term memory capacity of a group of people?

I want to start a project about the best schedules for learning activities focused on college students. Since sleeping patterns are totally different in a young adult/teenager, and many of the classes ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
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1answer
97 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 ...
2
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3answers
106 views

Is there a method to count objects without a pattern?

Is there a method in mnemonics to quickly find out the number of objects in, for example, a heap of tooth picks. There is this scene in the movie Rain Man, where the autistic protagonist can tell the ...
2
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1answer
55 views

Effectiveness of spaced learning when the data have personal meaning

There is much study of spaced learning (expanded retrieval, spaced retrieval, spaced repetition system, gradual-interval recall, etc), and much of the discussion is about around the optimal ...
2
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0answers
55 views

Are partially forgotten memories still in your brain?

I have read articles such as... http://www.wired.com/2009/09/forgottenmemories/ and they say forgotten memories are still stored in your brain. What about partially remembered memories. For ...
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0answers
40 views

What is the relationship between topographic maps and sensory memory?

Sensory maps are defined functionally: they exist for a certain time window, are overwritten quickly, are generally inaccessible to introspective control. Topographic maps are defined biologically: ...
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0answers
45 views

What brain regions are activated when a dream is remembered?

Some people remember dreams, others don't. The same person can wake up with dream recall one day and without on other days. I know that the association between REM sleep and dreaming was initially ...
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0answers
38 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 ...