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False memories are useful

False memories are useful

  • False memories can help us to find associations and connections. The most helpful memory might not be the most accurate.
  • Incorrect memories of our past can help us to nurture relationships by facilitating empathy and intimacy with others. 
  • Illusions can increase your confidence: if you remember that you solved a problem easily last time, you're more likely to solve it, even if you actually struggled the last time.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

False memories are not useless. It seems that they're able to improve our mental processing.

Memories are our reality. Remembering isn't just looking up fact's from our mental files. It's more like telling stories. If we forget, we reconstruct the details, even if the details...

We all misremember things. However, false memories are not so much mistakes but can be very detailed fantasies. Some people remember precise details of an event they attended, only to later realise they were never there.

Being aware of the concept of false memories does not make us i...

When we remember what something 'should' look like, we will often construct a memory to fit the mould. 

False memories can also happen to groups and could lead to mass delusions. People were shown a fake CCTV footage of a shop robbery and discussed what they’d seen. One ...

Scientists think that memories help us prepare for imagined future scenarios: If I do this, then that will be the result.

Sometimes a plausible guess, shown as a false memory, can be better than no idea at all.

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Childhood Memories

Memory is essentially an activation of neural networks inside the brain, which are dynamic in nature.

We can form memories as infants, but we do not have the ability to store them until we are at least two years of age. It is also a fact that we cannot remember being babie...

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There’s emerging evidence that ordinary medications - from paracetamol to antihistamines, statins, asthma medications, and antidepressants - can change our brains. They can make us impulsive, angry, or restless, and even alter aspects of our personalities.

In most people, changes fr...

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Memory is NOT a Recorder

Our brains are far from perfectly functioning recorders of our life events.

Researchers have demonstrated just how easy it is to trick the mind into remembering something that didn’t happen.

They also used two very simple techniques to reverse those false memories.

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