18th May 2024

Remembering and Forgetting (Year 2, Sun. Gr 1)

ENGLISH FOR PSYCHOLOGY Forums Neuropsychology Remembering and Forgetting (Year 2, Sun. Gr 1)

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    • #6680
      admin
      Keymaster

      Jill Price was the first person diagnosed with highly superior autobiographical memory. What is life like with this rare condition? Is it a blessing or a curse, or perhaps a little of each?

    • #6681
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      For Jill Price, living with this memory has its pros and cons. Her memory skills have been with her since early childhood, so they are an integral part of her life and it would probably be hard to imagine life without them.

      Reading the book, you can see that her super ability can be both a curse and a blessing – she has no control over her memory, which works automatically, reminding her of things she doesn’t necessarily want to remember – for example, every unpleasant thing she’s heard about herself, arguments and disappointments.
      But she also has the ability to “visit” good memories when she feels like it, which she uses as a way to improve her mood.

      • #6682
        admin
        Keymaster

        Hi Joanna!
        Would you like to have some aspects of her memory? And what is her condition called in the first place? How common is it?

        • #6685
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Hello! 🙂

          Her condition is called “hyperthymestic syndrome”, characterized by a highly superior autobiographical memory. Jill was the first official case, after which five more people were confirmed, so it is extremely rare!

          I wouldn’t switch with her memory one hundred percent, but some aspects are certainly interesting. I certainly wouldn’t want to remember every unpleasant thing, but I would be happy to go back to the pleasant moments I can’t remember anymore. Jill has never lost her keys, her ATM card, always remembers where she leaves off – that would be also very useful for me in my everyday life.

          • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
          • #6691
            admin
            Keymaster

            Was her memory was different from or similar to Shereshevsky’s or Kim Peek’s?

            • #6697
              Anonymous
              Inactive

              The “calendar” memory can be a common feature with Kim Peek – when asked about any date they could tell what day of the week it was.
              Shereshevsky, on the other hand, was able to consciously remember a virtually unlimited amount of information, while Jill could not – she remembered only autobiographical information (and the events she personally saw in the news or read about).

              She’s not very good at remembering things voluntarily.

              • #6699
                admin
                Keymaster

                Shereshevsky’s memory was not the best either. Do you remember any limitations of his memory?

                • #6700
                  Anonymous
                  Inactive

                  Hm, if I remember correctly, he had trouble memorizing abstract information and recognizing faces.

                  • #6703
                    admin
                    Keymaster

                    Indeed. Was there any explanation of why he was so poor at face recognition?

                    • #6706
                      Anonymous
                      Inactive

                      Human faces were “too changeable” for him, he could remember the face only as he saw it for the first time.
                      The next meeting of the same person after years was troublesome for him because he could not associate that despite minor changes it was still the same person.

                      • #6713
                        admin
                        Keymaster

                        Yes, but it doesn’t have to be years. He probably wouldn’t recognise you or me the next day of seeing us for the first time. It’s called prosopagnosia or face blindness.

    • #6683
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I think it’s hard to live with remembering all days of our lives. But some of our memory might be nice and we like to go back to them and talk about them. But assume that we had a horrible memories about, for example a car accident in which died someone who we love dies, we would want to forget about it, repress it but we can’t and we must deal with it for all the rest of our life. Let’s go back to the Jill Prince, she was able to tell the date of the attack on the World Trade Center with all details but she couldn’t learn and memorise historical facts for the history classes or for mathematics classes. It was hard for her to learn anything for each classes. I have never had a brilliant memory skills to learn anything but if I had to choose to remember all things that have happened in my life and don’t not be able to memorise things for my classes between skills I have now, I would choose the second option, without a second thought.

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      • #6693
        admin
        Keymaster

        Camilla, how come that her superior memory didn’t help her much at school?

        • #6702
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          If she wasn’t interested in informations information which she had to memorise, she couldn’t memorise it at all. She Had to be interested in something, otherwise she wasn’t able to learn it. Also when she was focused on something important and wanted to memorise it, the memories which were running through her head made it was hard to pay attention.

          • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
          • #6707
            admin
            Keymaster

            Yes, of course. You mentioned that she couldn’t memorise things she wasn’t interested in. Is she able to memorise a poem that she likes, or learn a foreign language?

            • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
            • #6712
              Anonymous
              Inactive

              If she liked some foreign language I think she is able to learn it. But I’m not so sure about the poem, because in the text she mentioned that memorizing poetry was especially painful for her, if not impossible, so I think when it comes to poems her interest in it wasn’t important.

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              • #6724
                Anonymous
                Inactive

                She was not able to memories a poem because it’s not a part of her life.

                • #6745
                  admin
                  Keymaster

                  Well, I think that her ability to memorise a poem or learn a foreign language isn’t different from ours. She just needs rehearsal to remember them just as we do. Her supermemory wouldn’t give her any avantage over us.

    • #6684
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Living with such a perfect autobiographical memory for Julie was blessing and a curse. Her case allowed her to catch the smallest details of the course of events.
      From the text, we know that her “abilities” appeared at a young age so it didn’t “fall” on her suddenly. She had chance to adapt to this state of affairs.

      Jill can recall her memories which is in my opinion a huge gift. How many times have we dreamed to come back to the memories of our beloved grandfather? When in worse moments we tried to cheer ourselves by remembering holidays by the sea? Jill had very transparent access to it.

      As I wrote before, I think it is a gift. But on the other hand it is a curse. Returning to stressful situations for us or just unpleasant situations must be just not nice. Jill, unfortunately, despite her condition, couldn’t refuse these adverse moments. She had to live with them. So in my opinion Jill was both, curse and gifted in her way, from a very young age.

      • #6692
        admin
        Keymaster

        Carolina, what does Jill Price want to change about her memory?

        • #6711
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          To control the recalled memories?

          • #6717
            admin
            Keymaster

            Yes, but I have the impression that she actually didn’t want to change her memory. She wrote in her book that remembering things accurately is very important to her and it would be hard for her to live with memory gaps that normally people experience. Maybe she wants to have more control over her memories and to be able to switch them off when she wants to relax or focus on something.

            • #6728
              Anonymous
              Inactive

              Nobody wants to change memory, but it seems to me that sometimes her memories were bothersome

              • #6748
                admin
                Keymaster

                I am sure it is. However, I can’t help thinking that she is proud of her memory and wouldn’t really change it for fear her life would be incomplete.

    • #6694
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I believe Jill’s condition leans more on the side of a curse. I think I’ve seen every interview or documentary that involved her some time ago and the book gave me even broader perspective about her life.
      It must be so hard living with this type of condition I can’t even imagine it. Obviously its great to recall pleasent memories but life is not about pleasent things alone. As I rely on repression or simply forgeting hurtful moments of my life I can’t imagine being forced to retrieve difficult memories withour any warning. And as we know Jill doesn’t have an easy life, she is constatntly hounted haunted by her past. If not big traumas then little things like when she did something embarasing 10 years ago. We all know that feeling when we lie in bed wanting to fall asleep and suddenly and randomly we recall some embarrassing situation from the past. She remembers nearly all of them. That alone would be a curse.
      Obviously it’s not like her life is hell, it may be close but still she is used to it as we all are to our struggles. We adapt and so did she. I think being able to remember good things makes it bearable.

      • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
      • #6704
        admin
        Keymaster

        Martyna, do you remember what “chaining” is?

        • #6710
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Yes, she describes that when she thinks of for example today – Sunday 26th of April 2020 she is able to recall all the 26th of April that fell od Sunday. But she is also able to do that with any given date and trace back to every 26th of April that she remembers. She finds that comforting, it helps her to sort things out in her mind.

    • #6695
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It‘s a curse for sure, the aspect that she can‘t control it, is horryfing. I‘m truly impressed that she is trying to living live a normal life, while such prosaic things like for instance a walk or a ride of car a car ride can be so overwhelming.

      • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
      • #6701
        admin
        Keymaster

        What did you find the most surprising/interesting while reading the book?

        • #6725
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          It wont be nothing original, Ive read these chpaters with constant feeling of curiosity, asking myself, how is this even possble that shes able to 'relive' her memories just as it happened for the first time. For us, people, many things are important just because of emotional impact that they have, thats why I find this possibility of recalling memories and emotions connected to them, desirable, yet I know that I truly wouldn`t like to live like this.

    • #6709
      admin
      Keymaster

      Jill Price mentions some mnemonic devices. What are they? Are you using any? Why, why not?

      • #6714
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        One of them is the method of loci, it means that we put words or phrases into places (e.g. our way to school) that we know. When I was younger and I needed to remember the poetry a poem for contests a recitation contest I walked around my house and put phrases into furniture. It helped me recollect fragments when I was stressed during the contest. For me it’s the most working method of mnemotechnics.

        • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
        • #6719
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Jill mentioned a few mnemonics, which are ways to exercise and remember information.
          She gave an example of imagery / rhyming to memorize something. Also loci method, but she never used any of them.
          I don’t use any of the above, as they are not efficient for me. I only use categorisation and making Cornell notes.

        • #6726
          admin
          Keymaster

          I have never used it for fear I would get lost somewhere along the path 🙂 It seems to me that in the case of the method of loci, you not only have to remember something you need to memorise but also where you have put it in the imaginary place.

          • #6731
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            Indeed! That’s why I think it’s a difficult technique, doubly complicated 😉

            • #6734
              admin
              Keymaster

              I assume that you haven’t tried it, like me 🙂 How about other techniques?

              • #6741
                Anonymous
                Inactive

                I only use categorization, sometimes flashcards 🙂

                • #6761
                  admin
                  Keymaster

                  How do you use categorisation? Can you give me an example?

      • #6718
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        She mentioned imagery and rhyming. When I ws younger, mostly in primary school I used to use rhyming and associations (I’m not sure If the second one is a thing though). Sometimes I still use some part of it when I find that material is particulary difficult to memorise. But I think I mostly develop some sort of a combination/mix of a lot of mnemonic devices and use them somewhat subconcously subconsciously.

        • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
        • #6730
          admin
          Keymaster

          That’s interesting. Could you, please, give us an example of your method of committing things to memory?

          • #6736
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            Sure. So I often use modyfied flashcard method. On one side I put general subject or issue and on the other shortened or full definition or words I’m then able to assosiate associate with said definition. It’s difficult to explain because it’s very intuitive for me and I dont’t have strict rules for doing it. Then I highlight key words in the definitions (what is also important is that set of flashcards concerning one bigger subject is highlighted with one color) and I memorise where on the card the key words are situated. For example when there are 3 words I form a triangle that is specific color in my mind. Moreover I often see in my mind first letters of those key words and then they form the shape I mentioned earlier.

            Honestly, it sounds so confusing I don’t even know how whether it helps me

            • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
            • #6763
              admin
              Keymaster

              Probably it’s helpful. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be using it.
              My memory is slightly declining so I think that in the near future I may need to rely on mnemonic devices 🙂

      • #6720
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        So they are memory techniques to help our brains/the brain better encode and recall important information better and of course we use them. For me, the most popular is Polish “odmiana przez przypadki czasownika”/declension – (I don’t t know how to translate that) In elementary school I didn’t know how to remember them in sequence, so my mother taught me a poem –
        mama – mianownik
        dała – dopełniacz
        cukierka – celownik
        bo – biernik
        nie – narzędnik
        miała – miejscownik
        wafelka – wołacz 🙂

        • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
        • #6733
          admin
          Keymaster

          What a lovely idea! 🙂 I remember inventing a phrase which could teach students the order of adjectives.

          On Saturdays and Sundays cute Olga makes pancakes. Can you guess, all of you, what these adjectives are?

          • #6738
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            opinion, size, age, shape, color, o….?, material, purpose

            • #6740
              admin
              Keymaster

              Indeed. The second “o” stands for origin (e.g. Polish or British).

      • #6729
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        She mentioned about imagery and rhyming. No, I dont use any of it, im?? I’m as amazed as Jill is that people can do such things in order to remember something better, I have never even tried to any of it because I didn`t feel need to do it.

        • This reply was modified 4 years ago by admin.
        • #6737
          admin
          Keymaster

          It seems to be that you’re saying that your memory is good on it own and you don’t need help to memorise something. Am I right in thinking so?

          • #6742
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            Yes, youre right. I have never look for any mnemonic device just because I didnt even know that such things exist, I was not aware of it

    • #6723
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Remembering every little detail of your life can be a torment. It doesn’t change the fact that Jill has been struggling with this for most of her life, so she’s already got used to it. It seems to me that there are more advantages here than disadvantages. The fact that she remembers those less happy elements of her life does not mean that she only thinks about them and is unable to focus on happy memories.

    • #6739
      admin
      Keymaster

      Can you guess that the following mnemonics stand for? Please, do not refer to the Internet ?
      a) If you saw a hippo on a campus, you would remember it.
      b) For I want a snowy Christmas, my friend.
      c) When you are S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D you eat D-E-S-S-E-R-T-S.
      d) Spring forward. Fall back.
      e) My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos.

      • #6744
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        e) is acrostic for sure 🙂

        • #6746
          admin
          Keymaster

          But what thing would you memorise using it?

          • #6749
            Anonymous
            Inactive

            Something that is supposed to be in some specific order – colours for example – magenta, violet, ecru, maroon, jade, steel, ultramarine, navy blue.

            • #6758
              admin
              Keymaster

              You’re right. It’s about an order, but not colours (there is an acrostic for the colours of the rainbow, though). It’s about the order of the planets orbiting the Sun.

      • #6756
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        „C” is an anagram

        • #6759
          admin
          Keymaster

          Yes, it is. It helps to memorise the spelling of “dessert”.

    • #6747
      admin
      Keymaster

      Jill Price mentions “Seven Sins of Memory” by Daniel Schacter. What are those sins?

      • #6752
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Transience, absentmindedness, blocking were the first three, he called them ‘sins of omission’ if I`m correct

        • #6753
          Anonymous
          Inactive

          Also misattribution, suggestibility and bias, as “sins of commission”

      • #6755
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Transcience, absent-mindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias and persistence 🙂

        • #6760
          admin
          Keymaster

          All of you, good answer!
          It seems to me that it’s our last class, but I’d like you to take a test on memory in about 2 weeks’ time at your convenience. Just give me the date and time. Those of you who would like to continue our online classes, let me know by email.
          I will send you today the updated activity report together with information about your written exam.

          If you’d like to continue the discussion about Jill Price, please do so. I will come back to this topic later today to see if you’ve written anything new.

          Thank you very much for your contribution and have a good Sunday!

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