Your Memory is like the Telephone Game: Each time you recall an event, Your Brain Distorts It

Neuroscience and Conflict Resolution Blog by Stephanie West Allen

Related to my last post which was on the malleability of memory . . .

News release from Northwestern University:

Remember the telephone game where people take turns whispering a message into the ear of the next person in line? By the time the last person speaks it out loud, the message has radically changed. It’s been altered with each retelling. 

Turns out your memory is a lot like the telephone game, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. 

Every time you remember an event from the past, your brain networks change in ways that can alter the later recall of the event. Thus, the next time you remember it, you might recall not the original event but what you remembered the previous time. The Northwestern study is the first to show this. 

“A memory is not simply an image produced by time traveling back to the original event — it can be an image that is somewhat distorted because of the prior times you remembered it,” said Donna Bridge, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the paper on the study recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience. “Your memory of an event can grow less precise even to the point of being totally false with each retrieval.”

Click to read the rest. Click to read the abstract of the study (Journal of Neuroscience).

                        author

Stephanie West Allen

Stephanie West Allen, JD, practiced law in California for several years, held offices in local bar associations, and wrote chapters for California Continuing Education of the Bar. While in CA, Stephanie completed several five-day mediation training programs with the Center for Mediation in Law, as well as a two-year intensive… MORE >

Featured Mediators

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

New California Law Requires Informed Consent to Mediation

New Law. On January 1, a new California law will take effect. It will require a lawyer to make sure their client understands the implications of California's legal protections for...

By Ron Kelly - Arbitrator, Mediator, Trainer
Category

Experiencing Your Conflict

Cinergy Coaching by Cinnie Noble In previous ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blogs I have discussed somatic symptoms of conflict. Today’s post is about what we experience internally that we may or may...

By Cinnie Noble
Category

Want Peace? Remind Opponent that People Change

Quick! Name a conflict that will never be resolved. You chose the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, right? Or perhaps it was a simmering conflict closer to home? Having just marked the tenth...

By Managing Editor

Find a Mediator

X
X
X