“My memory is so bad.”
If you can relate to this, you surely are a forgetful person. And before you curse your memory for this, read these interesting facts about the complexity that is human memory.
1. The human brain apparently has infinite storage capacity.
It’s not like each memory in our brain occupies a cell and as the cells get full, our capacity to remember things decreases. Memories are encoded in neural patterns in our brain and there are infinite such patterns. So there is no limit as to how much our brains can store.
2. Left-handed people have better memories.
Experiments have revealed that if you are left-handed or related to someone who is, then you stand a better chance of remembering events as compared to your right-handed counterparts.
3. Sitting up straight helps you retain things better.
4. Taking a photo of something can make your memories of it worse.
Quite ironic, but research has shown that under some conditions taking a photo of something actually makes it harder to remember. This may be due to the fact that we give less attention to an experience when we know that it will be safely stored in a picture.
5. Scent can be a powerful memory trigger.
Studies suggest that smells help us remember specific moments quite distinctively. This is because the scents that we sniff get processed through the olfactory bulb, which is closely connected to the memory-holding hippocampus region of the brain.
6. A good night’s sleep may improve your memory.
According to studies, time spent in sleeping plays a key role in preserving memory. Our brain needs time to consolidate the new information learned during the day and a good night’s sleep just helps us in this.
7. You don’t really forget things during drunken blackouts. Your brain just wasn’t recording the incident in the first place.
Studies found that exposure to alcohol inhibits some receptors and later activates others, causing neurons to manufacture steroids that inhibit memory formation. This explains why we don’t remember anything when we get highly intoxicated.
8. Our ability to identity faces is at its peak between the age of 30 to 34 and declines thereafter.
There’s a specific age when our ability to recognise faces is at its peak. Studies suggest that by the time we reach our 70s, we are only able to recognise 75% of people.
9. There’s a peak age for name recognition too.
The regions in our brain that control our ability to recognize and remember names starts declining in our 20s.
10. Closing your eyes apparently helps you recollect things better.
Remember the times when as a child we used to close our eyes and try to recollect what we’ve read? Turns out this hack is also backed by science. According to one study, we remove outside distractions by closing our eyes and recollect information better.
Interesting, isn’t it?