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30

Scientists studying the matter generally believe multitasking, and women's superiority at it, to be a myth. Men come out slightly better multitaskers than women but there's not really any meaningful difference. The way it's defined is critical though; it's being able to do two things that typically require focal attention at the exact same time. For ...


15

Short answer: Because areas of the brain needed for remembering are turned off during dreaming. Dream Amnesia: The process of converting perception into a memory construct that can be stored is called encoding, and is essentially the same during both wakefulness and sleep: That is, the same factors can hamper or promote successful encoding when awake or ...


13

Narrative psychology is probably the go-to domain of research and theory for questions about the power and popularity of stories. Here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia page (with added emphasis): Narrative psychology is...concerned with the "storied nature of human conduct" [(Sarbin, 1986)] or...how human[s]...deal with experience by constructing ...


13

Current evidence suggests that internet access is not weakening memory, but changing what information is prioritized. This study referenced below suggests that when people expect to have future access to information, they are less likely to remember the information itself and more likely to remember where or how that information can be found. Google ...


12

This is a very simple question with no single answer, I'm afraid. The other classic paper quoted in this context is Miller's "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two" (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magical_Number_Seven,_Plus_or_Minus_Two). In the case of a user using a website, memory will also be affected by: Familiarity with the subject. Is ...


12

Literal IQ: In a literal sense, IQ is a standardised score derived from intelligence tests. Typically IQ is scaled to have a a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. In that sense, it is a normative score. For children, the norm is defined relative to other children of a similar age, for adults, it is defined relative to an adult population. IQ as g: ...


12

Very many references may easily be found with a Google search for "mathematical model memory". Probably the most classic and iconic reference is Atkinson and Shiffrin (1965), which is also described on Wikipedia. Its three components and their relationships are nicely encapsulated in this figure: Many other, lesser-known mathematical models of memory exist, ...


12

Beta blockers (β1-Blockers) lower norepinephrine release (Berg, 2014), however it seems that the jury is still out on whether there is an effective and ethical way to prevent Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Donovan (2010) states that there isn't enough strong evidence on its efficacy. Another point it makes (on page 11) is that... Using any beta-...


11

It's possible to instill a false memory, even a traumatic one, in an adult. Children have been known to be more susceptible to suggestion since the 19th century (Binet, 1900, 1905). Here are some example references of memory implantation: Porter, S., Yuille, J. C., & Lehman, D. R. (1999). The nature of real, implanted, and fabricated memories for ...


11

The question which of these two descriptions is correct? is perhaps natural in the context of, say, someone studying for an examination. Epistemologists might suggest that a better formulation would be is either of these correct? However, as stated here there are clear reasons for preferring the first formulation to the second. I shall first explain why, ...


11

The answer to your question is yes, our memories are very malleable. Look into the research of Elizabeth Loftus. She is kind of the pioneer on this topic and has done a ton of research into false memories. Here is a TED talk by her that you might find interesting and here is a review article


11

Disclaimer: Quantifying the capacity of the human brain is quiet complex as you might imagine. And although in cognitive neuroscience we often compare the brain to computers this is not an exact comparison, in many ways the brain is far more complicated and encodes information in a very different way than the comparison of CPU processors and hard-drives. The ...


10

As Chuck pointed out in the comments, it's important not to take a metaphor too literally. Comparing our memory to a mailbox may have some validity, it is not true that our memory can "fill up"-- i.e., that we have a limited capacity for knowledge in general. No matter how old or how many facts you have learned, you will always be capable of ...


9

No. I don't think so. There are many arguments for why this is not the case. A common understanding of human memory is that it is part of an information processing system: attention, sensation, perception, interpretation, memory consolidation, forgetting, and memory recall. In some sense all these represent possible points of failure. Thus, we can fail to ...


9

I'm not sure about children recalling memories of their ancestors, but there is such a thing as Genetic Memory. In one study mice who were trained to fear a specific smell passed on their trained aversion to their descendant. Who were then extremely sensitive to, and fearful of the same smell, even though they had never encountered it, nor been trained to ...


8

I just completed an extensive study (and corresponding lit review) of how people learn. I think you are running into the classic difference between expert and novice users. Experts vs Novices It has been demonstrated that the knowledge structures in experts are different than those in novices. In particular, experts' knowledge is far more structured, and ...


8

For more recent work on false memories, look at this paper. The authors provide a biological basis for false memories. They also implant false memories in mice. Source Steve Ramirez, Xu Liu, Pei-Ann Lin, Junghyup Suh, Michele Pignatelli, Roger L. Redondo, Tomás J. Ryan, and Susumu Tonegawa. Creating a False Memory in the Hippocampus. Science, 26 July 2013: ...


8

Although this is quite an old question, I thought I would add additional information regarding this topic for consideration. As already noted, the storage capacity of the human brain is certainly very impressive. However, there are also some interesting quirks to human memory worth noting. does memorising a new thing increase the chance of losing ...


8

There are two possibilities. One is that we do tend to wake up more at the climax of dreams, and that somehow our dreams can sync up with external input like an alarm clock so that the climax of the dream occurs at the same time as the alarm going off. The second is that this doesn't actually happen; the alarm is just as likely to go off at the climax of the ...


8

Answer Yes, theoretically. Now According to my ongoing informal research, there are two sides of brain preservation innovation: 1) the preservation and mapping (building) the connectome; and 2) the reinstantiation of memories and/or creating consciousness from a connectome. From http://www.brainpreservation.org/overview/: [N]euroscience is now identifying ...


8

The hippocampus does make new brain cells, especially after aerobic exercise; there is an overwhelming amount of evidence for this claim (Erickson, Voss, et al., 2011; Firth, Stubbs, et al., 2017; Patten, Sickmann, et al., 2013). I was unable to find the California study published or peer-reviewed anywhere, and the abstract presented at the conference ...


7

Suppose a person learns a subject in college and waits for 10 years before learning it again. An exam is given one week after the person relearns the subject. So in this case, the ISI (inter-study interval) is very long compared to the RI (retention interval). The person will definitely forget some of the material after the 10 years. So how long they would ...


7

The first method (repeat the terms over and over) is called rote rehearsal. It's not actually a very good way to learn, though it has the benefit that it always "works" because you can always repeat a list. You may be unable to perform certain other encoding tricks such as elaborative rehearsal due to the context of the items, like a list of random words. ...


7

This is a complicated and loaded question. As Neuroskeptic noted, our understanding of consciousness is very poor (in fact, we don't know how to define it most of the time). To see some of the best current definitions, take a look at: What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'? We definitely can't infer arbitrary properties of ...


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