The Strange Science of Memory

Our memories make us who we are, and as with anything involving the human brain, they’re pretty complicated. Explore the mysteries of memory with this collection of fascinating articles that break down how we form memories, why we forget so much of our childhood, and the profound impact this has on our lives.

Human Memory: How We Make, Remember, and Forget Memories

National Geographic • Michael Greshko

Human memory happens in many parts of the brain at once, and some types of memories stick around longer than others.

You’ll Probably Forget What It Was Like to Live Through a Pandemic

Shayla Love • Vice

Memory researchers say these months will eventually become a blur for those of us isolating at home.

Total Recall: The People Who Never Forget

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie • The Guardian

An extremely rare condition may transform our understanding of memory.

In a Perpetual Present

Erika Hayasaki • Wired

The strange case of the woman who can’t remember her past—or imagine her future.

The Movie That Doesn’t Exist and the Redditors Who Think It Does

Amelia Tait • New Statesman

Over the years, hundreds of people online have shared memories of a cheesy Nineties movie called “Shazaam.” There is no evidence that such a film was ever made. What does this tell us about the quirks of collective memory?

11 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory

Kathy Benjamin • Mental Floss

Long-term, immediate, and habitual methods for keeping your memories fresh and clear.

Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read

Julie Beck • The Atlantic

… and the movies and TV shows we watch.

This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went

Ferris Jabr • Nautilus

Your brain needs to forget in order to grow.

How Long Can an Event Hold Humanity’s Attention? There’s an Equation for That

Eleanor Cummins • Popular Science

Societies forget, and this physicist wants to know why.

A Quiet Revolution in Botany: Plants Form Memories

Sarah Laskow • Atlas Obscura

Scientists are beginning to understand that plants have abilities, previously unnoticed and unimagined, that we’ve only ever associated with animals.

A Stranger in the House of Memory

Louise Fabiani • Pacific Standard

Of the many experts who figured in Henry Molaison’s life, one man would change him into amnesiac patient H.M., but two women ensured he would never be forgotten.

Is Google Wrecking Our Memory?

Clive Thompson • Slate

Nope. It’s much, much weirder than that.

What It’s Like to Lose Your Short-Term Memory

Christine Hyung-Oak Lee • Longreads

An excerpt from Christine Hyung-Oak Lee’s memoir Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember: The Stroke That Changed My Life.

The Amazing Phenomenon of Muscle Memory

Ainslie Johnstone • Oxford University

Without the changes in the brain that allow you to learn new skills, nothing would be “as easy as learning to ride a bike.”

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