Over the years, scientists have uncovered many of the human brain’s mysteries and shortcomings that were securely hidden in our psyche.
Today, smartzune.com invites you on a journey inside your own head to find out what makes your consciousness work.
1. We’re constantly altering our memories
As small films or video clips, we tend to see our memories. Things within our brain that sit on some “shelf,” secure and unchangeable. But, as it turns out, past events ‘ memories change each time they pass before the eye of our mind.
Their content is influenced by blackouts of memory and events occurring in the morerecent past. For example, you don’t have clear memories of all the people who attended a family get-together a couple of years ago, but since your aunt rarely misses these gatherings, your mind inevitably includes her in memories— even though she was absent on that particular occasion.
Perhaps your memory isn’t as good as you think it is. Not only do we rely on our memories to share stories with friends or learn from our past experiences, but we also use them to create a sense of personal identity for crucial things. Evidence shows, however, that our memory is not as reliable as we would like to assume. What is worse, we are often guilty, without even knowing, of manipulating the truth or adding misleading information to our memories.
Consider the “telephone game” (also known as “Chinese whispers”) to learn a little about how remembering works. In the game, a person secretly whispers a message to the person next to them, who then passes it on in line to the next player, and so on. Each time the message is relayed, some parts might be misheard or misunderstood, others might get innocently altered, improved, or forgotten. Over time the message can become very different from the original.