"We try to repeat those experiences that we
remember with pleasure and pride, and we
try to avoid repeating those that we remember with embarrassment and regret. The
trouble is that we often don't remember
them correctly. Remembering an experience
feels a lot like opening a drawer and retrieving a story that was filed away on the
day it was written. That feeling is one of our
mind's most sophisticated illusions.
Memory is not a dutiful scribe
that keeps a complete transcript of our experiences, but a sophisticated editor that clips
and saves key elements of an experience and then uses these elements to rewrite
the story each time we ask to reread it. The
clip-and-save method usually works pretty well because the editor usually has a
keen sense of which elements are essential and which
are disposable. Alas, as keen as its editorial skills may be,
memory does have a few quirks
that cause it to misrepresent the past and hence causes us to incorrectly
imagine the future. " - Daniel Gilbert
memory is defined as:something remembered
the act or an instance of
an electronic memory device
of instinct and intuition
all that a
individual can remember
and recalling past experience
cognitive processes whereby past experience is
thought or emotion brought to
consciousness from the
period of time covered by the remembrance or recollection of a individual or
group of individuals.
The capacity of a material, such as plastic or
metal, to return to a previous shape after deformation.
The faculty of
the mind by which it retains the knowledge of
impressions, or events.
ability of the immune system to
respond faster and more powerfully to subsequent
exposure to an antigen.
Something, or an aggregate of things,
remembered; hence, character, conduct, etc., as
preserved in remembrance, history, or tradition; posthumous fame.
reach and positiveness with which a individual can
remember; the strength and
trustworthiness of one's power to reach and represent or to recall the
Memory is the generic term,
denoting the power by which we reproduce past
impressions. Remembrance is an exercise
of that power when things occur spontaneously to our thoughts. In recollection
we make a distinct effort to collect again, or call back, what we know has been
formerly in the mind. Reminiscence is
intermediate between remembrance and recollection, being a
conscious process of recalling past
occurrences, but without that
full and varied reference to particular things which characterizes
Memory is a complicated process,
only partly understood. Research suggests that the qualities of a
memory do not in and of
themselves provide a reliable way to determine accuracy. For example, a vivid
and detailed memory may be
based upon inaccurate reconstruction of facts, or largely self-created
impressions that appear to have actually occurred. Likewise, continuity of
memory is no guarantee of
truth, and disruption of memory
is no guarantee of falsity. Finally,
memory is believed to be a
reconstructed phenomenon, and
so it can often be strongly influenced by
expectation (one's own or other
people's), emotions, the implied beliefs of others, inappropriate
déjà vu is an illusion, a vivid
mental trick played by the
mind on itself.
You walk into a
charming beautiful garden.
Suddenly, you are certain, absolutely positive, you have been in that
exact spot doing the exact same thing before.
There is a puzzling but
very strong feeling of familiarity.
What is really happening is your
mind is processing the experience along
several neural pathways at
déjà vu is a neurological anomaly related to
improperly timed synapses firings resulting in an erroneous sensation of
memory of previous experience
coupled with an inability to grasp any details of the underlying
memory of that experience.
Improperly filed information meets in the mind's higher processing
centers as a time overlapping incident.
It is as if one series of
messages have taken a shortcut and ziped into
memory first. When others
identical messages arrive, the mind
announces, accurately, that the new memories are replicas of previous
mind, this means you have been here and done
70% of people say they have had a déjà vu
Is it possible to
consciously delete existing memory?
People that have
had extremely traumatic experiences that do not fit in to that person's typical
understanding of reality seem to be able to delete the
memory of the actual
Although they are able to consciously forget the actual
memory, or perhaps mask or
wall up the
memory, they are unable to mask
to their inner most selves, the emotional
response that occurs when similar events take place that their
subconscious mind recognizes
and categorizes as familiar to past events.
If it is possible to
consciously delete existing
memory - how would that
individual ever know that memories had been deleted?
traumatic brain injury
It is necessary and crucial step required for
healing to allow traumatized people to talk about their
trauma. Allowing people to talk
about what has befallen them allows them to connect with their emotion and
process the trauma."Focusing on children who are not abuse victims (because,
thankfully, children who are not abused by their caregivers are the majority),
let us consider an ordinary childhood event that developed into trauma, rather
than just fright or hurt. Take a few moments to view things through the eyes of
five-year old Dylan, who gets off the school bus at the wrong stop.
Dylan started kindergarten on Tuesday. Today is Wednesday. He is riding
the school bus home for the second time in his life. He feels a little
intimidated by the big ten-year-old sitting beside him, he misses his mother,
and he is not at all sure that he knows how to be a school bus rider. Nearly
everything during the past day and a half has been new, and Dylan is worn out,
and eager to get back to the homey sofa in the den, and his Quack Pack videos.
His mother promised that she would be waiting for him at the bus stop, just
like yesterday. He looks expectantly out the window as the bus travels by
places that look dimly familiar.
When the bus finally stops, bunches of
loud, laughing, pushing children migrate hastily toward the door. The children
disembark in an impenetrable tangle of thrashing heads and arms, Dylan among
them, confused but earnestly striving to be a good bus rider. There are some
adults by the side of the road. They greet the children, and in a matter of
seconds, the bus has departed, and everyone has moved away from the bus stop.
Dylan's mother is not there. And as people walk out of sight,
chattering and swinging each other's hands, no one notices that one
five-year-old boy has been left standing alone. The boy does not even think
about calling after the people. He is too stunned, and besides, he does not
know them. He stands right there, for a long time, hoping that his mother will
appear. He looks like a tiny statue at the edge of the road, until a monstrous
truck, air horn blaring, zooms by just a few feet in front of him, causing him
to lurch sideways into some trees. He looks around at the wooded area, and
decides he had better hide there until his mother comes.
down under an elm, where he is concealed from the road by a small embankment.
He puts his legs out in front of him, and leans back against the tree. His new
backpack, which he still has on, cushions him a bit. He stares straight ahead,
and begins to tap his new sneakers together. He is scared, but he knows his
mother will come soon. He sits that way for about half an hour, the length of
one Quack Pack video, and then he thinks the unthinkable: maybe she is not
coming. As soon as this thought occurs to him, he feels clammy all over; his
stomach feels shaky, and he begins to cry.
Soon, the tears have turned
to desperate sobs. He cries convulsively for several minutes, until he is
gasping for breath. Then, he gets an idea. He inhales as deeply as he can,
stands up, and walks cautiously back to the roadside, where he looks around
briefly. He calls out, "Mommy!" and then, more emphatically, "Mommy!"
Dylan is about three quarters of a mile from his home, in a nice, safe
suburban neighborhood. As long as he stays out of the road, which he knows to
do, he is in no physical danger. Serene middleclass houses sit at the ends of
the driveways that join the street on both sides. Really, all that Dylan has to
do is go up one of the driveways and knock on a door, which in all likelihood
will be answered by a sympathetic adult who will quickly contact his mother.
But five-year-old Dylan does not know this. In his so far brief time on earth,
he has never knocked on a strange door. He has never even gone all alone to
someone else's house. And in his current panicked state, he does not even put
it together that the silent houses contain people at all. The houses are only
another aspect of what is impersonal and frightening all around him.
After shouting "Mommy" a few more times, he gives up and returns to his
tree behind the embankment. His pants are damp in back, from the ground he sits
on. He feels cold in the warm September afternoon, and he shivers. He whispers
"Mommy" once, and a few more tears leak onto his cheeks. But then he is quiet.
He sits quite still under the tree, as the enormity of his situation engulfs
him. He is lost. His mother is gone. He will never get to talk to her again. He
is never going home.
In this way, he remains for about another hour. He
begins to feel that the world is very far away, and he is just a teeny speck
floating somewhere in a fuzzy gray space. He wonders, in a detached sort of
way, whether he is going to die now. Finally, he does not feel anything, not
even cold and shivery. Still wearing his backpack, he curls up in a fetal
position on the ground, and, in his mind, completely disappears from himself
and his surroundings.
Another hour passes. Dylan is brought back to
himself when his mother dives to her knees by the tree, and grabs him up in her
arms. Some other grown-ups are there, also. Without emotion, Dylan says,
"Mommy?" His mother is sobbing and jubilant at the same time, and she does not
notice that Dylan is neither.
Someone drives Dylan, and his mother
home. They sit in the backseat, where his mother hugs and kisses him over and
over, and tells him that everything is okay. Dylan does not say anything. When
they get home, his mother places several emotional phone calls, and then she
makes some chicken noodle soup for Dylan. When he does not
eat it, she tells him
once again that everything is okay. She assures him that from now on, she will
pick him up at kindergarten herself. No more school bus. Then, feeling at a
loss, she suggests that they sit on the cozy sofa together and watch one of his
videos. She holds him close, and he watches the movie. He does not keep up a
running commentary, or wiggle away to bounce on the furniture the way he
usually does, but she knows that he must be exhausted, and probably still
frightened. She is, too.
When the movie is over, she decides that Dylan
looks pale. She hopes he has not gotten sick from lying on the damp ground, and
she suggests that he go to sleep right now, though it is still early. Without
protest, Dylan lets his mother put him to bed, where he resumes his fetal
When we imagine this event from inside Dylan's mind, we see
that he is much more than tired and very scared. He is traumatized. His nascent
views of the world and the people in it have been violated, and his ability to
cope has been utterly overwhelmed. At the age of five, he has imagined the face
of death, and has experienced the fact that one can terminate such imaginings
by being dissociative. All of this without any objective danger, and though the
story had a happy ending Dylan has still been traumatized."
Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness, by Martha Stout,
An adult can easily
forget the trauma inflicted on a child.
Adults may never realize a
child has been traumatized.
A child will forget what caused the trauma
but there will always be a set of circumstance that will send that child into a
It is unlikely that an adult will remember what
initially caused the trauma while not in a dissociative
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