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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

According to current models of human concept learning, the answer to your question is both. Think of a simplified domain in which every object consists of only several features, and therefore can be visualized as a point in some multidimensional feature space. For example, the features that define objects might be its size, shape, color, and weight. ...


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


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 ...


10

A recent senior thesis by Schoen (2012) addressed this exact question. Students watched a filmed lecture and were randomly assigned to take notes with either by typing or handwriting. After the lecture, students were given a few distractor tasks, and then given a retention test. Other students were assigned to take notes from a textbook, instead of a lecture....


9

I believe this phenomenon is well known in cognitive science. That is how our memory works. The simpliest explanation would be the Hebbian learning rule: "Neurons that fire together, wire together." So, you can imagine some neurons firing when you hear the music and some when you see the game. Now, if these used to fire together, they are probably connected....


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 ...


9

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 ...


8

What's answer above summarises many of the first things I would have said. In addition, you may also want to note that working memory references the idea of a computer, which implies that storage and processing are separable. In fact, storage and processing occur using the same mechanisms in the brain, meaning that a simple concept of working memory is ...


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 ...


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