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Steven Novella writes about false memory.
Do you remember when Nelson Mandela was killed in prison in the 1980s? Apparently there are a lot of people who, for some reason, had this memory. Of course, Mandela was not killed in prison, he survived and went on to become president of South Africa.
This false memory, however, gave rise to the term, “The Mandela Effect,” which refers to remembering some detail of the past that is simply not true. There is a disconnect between our memory and reality.
This should not be surprising to anyone, especially anyone even slightly familiar with memory research. Our memories are constantly changing, they merge, details shift, and entire memories can be confabulated. If there is a conflict between our memory and documented reality, it is clearly our memory that is at fault.
Oh, and, "While the Mandela Effect can be fun, I am most amazed by how fallible my own memory is."
http://theness.com/neurologicablog/inde ... more-10317
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Yes, I find the research into memory is producing fascinating results.
I had personal experience of this kind of effect recently, when I was telling a friend about something that had happened on holiday, when I suddenly realised that an event I was about to describe never actually happened: my memory had run together certain related events in my recent past and extrapolated from them, producing a brief false memory. Fortunately I caught it in time, but it did make me wonder whether some of those people we assumed were fantasists or born liars might suffer from a worse version of this and genuinely believed what they were saying.
The latest development I've come across is that scientists using scanners have been able to follow the process within the brain which results in short-term memories being transferred to long-term storage. This only happens at a deep form of non-REM sleep; so if you have a disturbed sleep pattern, you are much more liable to forget things.