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Memorias frágiles pero bien conectadas

Una percepción, un sentimiento o cualquier experiencia, aunque pertenezca irremediablemente al pasado, permanece en nuestra memoria y puede ser aprovechado por nosotros en cualquier otro momento (sin recuerdo el pasado es para todos una palabra sin sentido), aunque no necesariamente de la misma forma que se presentaron inicialmente.

Las relaciones asociativas (asociación por experiencia, por contigüidad, por contraste, por semejanza…) añaden la posibilidad de incorporar esas representaciones pasadas a cada objeto que vemos, oímos o representamos. De esta manera, la verdad y exactitud de nuestros recuerdos pueden verse facilmente alteradas si no contrastamos nuestros diferentes recuerdos o si no hacemos una autocrítica profunda de su valor.

When something happens that’s notable and unique, or emotional and stressful, our brain tends to write it to our long-term memory. That’s good, but the way it’s written can lead to confusion later on. It’s something that police detectives and prosecutors know all too well.

Dr. Caroline Racine, a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of California San Francisco, says that our brains organize their neurons around associated features. If you recite a list of related words to a group–”dream, bed, midnight, tired”–and give it some time, most people will report they heard the word “sleep” in there.

“We base many of our memory judgements on information that seems familiar, even if we can’t specifically recall this,” Racine wrote in an email. “[So] if related information is introduced when discussing a particular memory, that information can be co-opted into that memory, because neurons that are firing together get wired as a specific memory.” The more that bundle of neurons is accessed, either for recalling or hearing the story again, the more real the fake parts will seem, according to Racine.

En: Is Your Memory Good Enough To Remember That You Read This?

Via @txemavalenzuela