memory

The classic example of verbal short-term memory is keeping a telephone number in mind as we dial it, but this cognitive ability plays a critical role in many other everyday activities including mental arithmetic, verbal reasoning, learning new vocabulary and overcoming...

Memories are curious things. Sometimes they masquerade as thoughts, feelings, or images, without revealing themselves as memories. Sometimes they come to mind and seem relatively meaningless, other times they overwhelm consciousness and cast us back into a vividly remembered...

OUR challenge here was to come up with 10 practical suggestions for improving memory, based on well-documented psychological research. We have compiled a list of powerful and robust techniques, organised by when you would apply them. Each is accompanied by just a few of the...

Getting the gist

Jack Nissan, winner in the undergraduate category of our Student Writer Competition, on surprising findings surrounding the memory of people with Alzheimer’s.

Remembering is not simply a matter of freezing particular pieces of...

Nathan is a six-year old child in his second full-time year of school. He is working in the lowest ability groups in both reading and maths, and is struggling with many classroom activities. He often fails to follow instructions such as ‘Put your sheets on the green table,...

Remember that time you went on a hot-air balloon ride at a fair when you were little?? You went with your dad – here’s a photo of him. You were worried at first but he reassured you…it made you a much more trusting individual. Quite a momentous day.Except it never happened. As...

It’s a normal part of ageing that many will be familiar with: as we get older, memory, visuospatial ability and executive function (planning, scheduling, working memory, inhibition and multitasking) tend to suffer. Indeed, their impairment is one of the first symptoms of...

During her pregnancy in 2008, Guardian columnist Zoe Williams said 'I hesitate to admit this, but in the third trimester I’m incredibly stupid.’ She was referring, of course, to the idea of ‘pregnesia’, ‘preghead’, ‘baby brain’, call it what you will: the widely held belief...

Can we start historically, with your study in the 1970s on eyewitness accounts of a car accident and leading questions? Ironically, I find students recall that extremely well. How did it come about?
I was studying semantic memory. After I got my PhD and...

In Proust’s novel À la Recherche du Temps Perdu the narrator, Marcel, is overwhelmed by an unexpectedly vivid memory triggered by dipping a madeleine into a cup of tea. Such experiences are now being classified as involuntary autobiographical memories (IAMs), coming...