Early Memories: True Or False
Any memory before the age of three is likely to be false or having some fictional details, while memories that are fluid, coherent and detailed, like watching a documentary, can also be made up.
But whether they are true or false, memories have the ability to bring us happiness and shared experiences with our loved ones.
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False memories are a challenge in legal cases, as they are indistinguishable from real memories, with any distortion being undetectable.
Certain regression therapies where patients confront their buried childhood memories are prone to ‘implantation’ of false memories in their minds.
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 babies. According to studies, if we have early memories of us being infants, it is likely that they are fabricated memories.
We all can form complex false memories in us, and it can even impact our decision making and future behavior. Planting false memories in a person can be used to tackle certain disorders like obesity and alcoholism.
Memory researchers have concluded that it is possible to induce fictional memories of the past in volunteers and even make them believe in some past criminal deeds that never happened.
Eating specific foods which were consumed in our early years can evoke powerful and emotional memories, lying dormant in our subconscious for decades. This is possible even if the food was first relished at an early age, which we cannot recall any memory of.
Example: Eating a certain flavour of strawberries as a child can trigger the memory or recognition of the particular taste when eaten after decades as an adult.
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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