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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6
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2answers
531 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
146 views

Controlling for response bias in a forced choice memory task

I want to present participants a pair of items $a$ and $b$, each with an association $x$ or $y$. Later on participants will presented with the items singularly, and asked 'what was the association?'. ...
6
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
9k 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
votes
3answers
188 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
votes
2answers
196 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
votes
1answer
133 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
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
170 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? ...
5
votes
0answers
95 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
115 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
votes
3answers
572 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?
4
votes
2answers
76 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
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Reduction of the hippocampus due to childhood neglect/abuse

A Scientific American article, "Childhood Stress Decreases Size of Brain Regions", by Christie Nicholson briefly mentions the implications of childhood neglect and abuse on brain structures. I was ...
4
votes
1answer
77 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
108 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
votes
1answer
66 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
votes
1answer
112 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
votes
1answer
41 views

Study of recollection of drawings based on labels

I remember stumbling across a very interesting study/experiment a few months ago. Now I want to try to find it again. Unfortunately I cannot for the life of me recall the name of the experiment nor ...
4
votes
1answer
96 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
111 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
671 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
votes
1answer
201 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
2answers
111 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
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
2answers
105 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
160 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
188 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
votes
1answer
126 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
votes
1answer
43 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
votes
1answer
75 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
votes
2answers
217 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
0answers
26 views

The role of Anticipation in acquisition, consolidation, retrieval of memory

I was wondering if there is any neurological/neuropsychological difference between the anticipation of an event to come, and the remembrance of that event. More specifically, is there any difference ...
3
votes
0answers
54 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
52 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
votes
0answers
159 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
votes
1answer
151 views

Does learning too much useless information weaken my memory?

From what I understand, since we receive a lot of information every day, our brains are tasked with remembering the few important bits and ignoring (or forgetting) everything else. I also know of ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

What is the name of the condition where you feel like you have been somewhere before?

It happens many times when you visit a place you have never been before, you feel subconsciously you have been there already. And the events and people you are ...
2
votes
2answers
302 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
votes
2answers
56 views

what is the data structure used by the brain to store data?

as a computer science undergraduate i was thinking if there are any special data structures used by brain to save data . i am specially interested in the data structure of hash tables . if some data ...
2
votes
3answers
69 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
votes
2answers
148 views

What is it called to think without language? Are there studies around it?

I think there are two types of thinking: With and without language. For my entire life, in my opinion I have always thought without language. Some ppl say its impossible and that we think with ...