Interesting Memory Research

The University of Hull conducted an interesting research. A group of students were asked to list their memories of various periods of their life. One in five students “remembered” something that didn’t really happen.

Most fictitious memories "happened" between the ages of 4-8. For example, one student claimed that he was playing hockey as a child even though his parents didn’t confirm that information. Another student claimed that he had seen a real dinosaur.

Nevertheless, many people are confidently claiming their memories of imaginary events to be true. According to research, fictitious memories are inseparable from human autobiographical memory.

Engram is the key concept in all discussions on physiological basis of memory. Engram is a memory trace, a steady interaction of nervous cells, which reflects an event or information received from the outside. Regarding their content, there are 2 types of engrams: imagery engrams, which represent the structures of perceived objects in their own structure, and engram models of actions, which represent action programs in their structure. All types of engrams can establish strong associative links.

“Memory on the Peak of a Spike”

A mammal's brain is constantly saving new information and erasing their old knowledge. It was discovered that memorization and forgetting depend on the atrophy of the special nervous cell spikes. These spikes form new neural links and help memorization. New spike links are atrophied or preserved for a longer period after the learning process has been completed.

The spikes' length, shape, and functions vary. Thin and dynamic spikes are necessary for memorization of new data. Large mushroom-like spikes are less dynamic and are responsible for adoption and storage of long-term knowledge and skills.

Researchers studied neurons of young and old monkeys and conducted an experiment that revealed the differences between memorization processes of both groups. The monkeys had to recall the place where the treat was hidden. It turned out that older monkeys had more trouble finding it.

Monkeys' cerebration was studied under the special microscope. The older monkey’s brain lacked thin spikes, while the amount of large mushroom-like spikes that store the “fundamental” data remained the same.

However, the researchers proved one necessary truth: studying is better when you’re young; when you get old you can only recall what you’ve learned.

Human brain remembers everything, but some things are out of your conscience's reach


The researchers of Duke University Medical Center studied the process of information settling in the brain. The testees had to recognize the words from the list they had seen not long before that. Their brain activity was tracked with a tomographic scanner. Specific activity was registered with all words from the list regardless the fact if the person recalled the word on purpose or not. Thus, the researchers drew a conclusion that the brain keeps all information, but some of it cannot reach our consciousness.

It has been estimated how long human memory stores shapes or colors

The researchers of the University of California discovered that short memories (of shape and color) are available only for 4 seconds.

They conducted an experiment where the testees had to recognize the shape or color of the object they had seen less than a second ago. It turned out that they could keep this short-term memory for as long as 4 seconds.