Wednesday, June 6, 2018


I laughed when I heard the joke , “if you remember the 60’s and 70’s you weren’t there.” Alice Cooper who made his first four shock rock albums drunk and stoned and his next 20 clean and sober joked recently about reading celebrity autobiographies.”I was there and I know that they’re only vaguely true... the memories of then are more like a dream’
I just enjoyed one of many neurological and psychiatric podcasts I’ve been listening to on ‘constructive memory’ The last neuroscientist said the implications of the research are huge and should revolutionize the legal system. Unfortunately it remains 19th century in a 21st century world. Nothing was more trubling than to listen to the OJ trial handling of DNA evidence appreciating how scientifically outdated the legal system is regarding some aspects of evidence.The same holds true regarding memory and testimony.
There are state and trait factors affecting memory. Mood,  attention, group agreement, social acceptability, medication, drugs , marijuana, time of day and pre conception are all factors involved in memory. The basal ganglia affects attention as the hippocampus affects memory but short term and long term memory are also affected by neocortical and subcritical structures.
The reason I remember Beatles songs is as much to do with them being replayed endlessly through my life.
Retrospective falsification is the phenomena of consciously or unconsciously mis remembering events previously held true. The simplest near ubiquitous example are the post divorce claims “I never loved him. I never loved her.’ despite the obvious hard evidence of wedding children and photos and then the change of heart with anterograde ripples. It’s been said that after WW2 not one German could be found who said they’d supported the Nazi party. Even Peter denied Jesus until the cock crowed.
False Memory Syndrome was a term that arose when biological fathers were serially and routinely accused of infant rape and pedophilia not just for psychopathic reasons but based on the fallacies of emotional memory. Metaphors become reality and marketers like Goebbels knew even a lie repeated loud and long enough becomes the perceived truth. Individual memory is like the collective memory of history. There it is said the winner writes history. In the individual there are similar characters
Competing for the dominant narrative.
It’s all further complicated by research on time, causation and perception. The questions regarding time travel are complicated by the multiplicity of possible pasts. This are all sobering considerations to be considered in this latest mental health epidemic of memory and false memory. All this of course is occurring at a time when an aging population fears forgetting their car keys is a sign of dementia. Time really to study neuroplasticity and how that affects memory and read again the classic ‘The man who mistook his wife for a hat’

No comments: