Impediments to memory (6)

Many people trust their memory implicitly and faithfully rely on it. Others are more skeptical, acknowledging that it might sometimes be undependable. But everybody accepts the fact that many factors affect it. Time and distance make it fade, chemicals in the body can alter it, and a number of psychological quirks make it iffy. We never tell a story in exactly the same way. Spouses invariably argue over the details of experiences they have shared. And, unless we are creatures of fixed habits, we forget what we ate two days ago.

The following links point to some of the things that make memory such an undependable possession.

Is it normal to be so forgetful?

Alzheimer’s and dementia are not the only conditions that cause memory impairment in seniors. This articles examines one of the other possibilities.

Photographs actually impair your memory of an event, rather than support it

We don’t have to remember everything if we park the memory somewhere else, such as in a document or a photo that is easy to find later. This is called cognitive offloading. It is one of the strategies we use to free up our minds. But it is not all a positive phenomenon.  This article explains why.

Cognitive bias cheat sheet

A wide-ranging discussion of some of the factors that keep us from thinking clearly and remembering all the things we want to recall.

Memory and attention are affected by much lower levels of dehydration than previously thought

Strong evidence demonstrating the link between the body and the mind.

Is full-time work bad for our brains?

There are times when life interferes with life. According to this study, memory could be badly affected by our everyday routine.

Western-style diet linked to state-dependent memory inhibition

A cautionary report about research suggesting a link between fast-food cravings and a weak memory.

A boring job really CAN make you brain dead: Lack of stimulation ‘affects memory and concentration later in life’

The trick, here as elsewhere, is to remain aware “in the moment.” People whose minds wander may make good poets or fiction writers, but they rarely write memoirs. If they do, the writing lacks detail because they have not paid attention when it mattered.

Anticipating stress messes up memory—and your day

Even fears and events that will never happen can play with our ability to remember.

Get off the internet: The rest will do your short-term memory good

A reminder that living in neutral is not what it seems. Digesting memories and forgetting are essential to remembering. Even entertaining ourselves in front of a blinking screen can hinder the process.

The unexpected way that anxiety can affect your memory

Worrying about a few things is not usually anything to worry about, but chronic worry might be an exception.

Science around trauma and memory shifting how police respond to victims

Like traditional courtroom practices, traditional police training expects witnesses or participants to remember traumatic events exactly. This is at odds with what happens to people who are shocked by the unexpected.