Harvard: “The Seven Sins of Memory” – Newton Street Study Guide to the brain
May 01 2012

Harvard: "The Seven Sins of Memory"

This lecture, part of an alumni lecture series, is devoted to the different ways in which we forget things.

1. kind of forgetting: transience (memories get fainter over time) rate of forgetting is greater closer to the event and decreases as time passes

2. kind of forgetting: absent mindedness (lapses of attention)

3. kind of forgetting: blocking (tip of the tongue)

4. distorted memories: disattribution (source of memory is incorrect)

5. distorted memories: suggestibility (leading questions creates a false memory)

6. distorted memories: bias (distort the past because of current thinking)

7. unwanted recollections: persistence (inability to put unwanted memories out of the mind)

What does memory encoding look like? Harvard Professor Daniel Schacter, offers fMRI images to show what it looks like in your brain when you remember something you are likely to forget.

As we learn more about forgetting, we will learn how to remember better.


see also McGill University, “How Exercising your Memory Strengthens it” for current theories on why we forget.

Harvard, Living Healthier, Living Longer

press the picture, to watch the presentation.