Monday, January 13, 2003

George A. Miller:

A fragment overheard on the elevator (how often does this happen...) about meta-memory made me realize that as I age, I am recalling my memories more than actual events. I recently transferred all my family's old 8mm films to MiniDV and VHS tapes, in order for easier viewing and an (eventual) editing session. And I have been thinking about how viewing those old movies actually corrupts my memory of the same events: now when I recall an event, it is from the viewpoint of the camera, rather than from my viewpoint as a chattering, laughing child. Vision is such a huge portion of our memory that it makes memory vulnerable to modification by the same stimulus as created it. So be careful when you look at movies and pictures: you are erasing the past while under the impression that you are reliving it.