- Memory exists in the brain as a network of linked cells. These cells fire together.
Power of forgetting
- To forget is to fail — If learning is the build of skills then forgetting is losing some of the things which we’ve gained
- Forgetting is like a natural spam filter in our brain — It allows the brain to focus on the important things and drain the nonsense/cut out the noise.
- We should not be afraid of “forgetting” — it’s a friend to learning
- The forgetting filter also blocks some relevant details from coming back along with the irrelevant ones.
- Retrieving any memory alters it’s accessibility and sometimes even the content
- Ballard’s experiment — After a studying a poem, memory improves in the first few days without any further study and tapers off after day 4 or so. This may not be true for everything though.
- For nonsense syllables, and for most lists of vocabulary words or random sentences, it’s zero: There’s no spontaneous improvement on test scores after a day or two. By contrast, reminiscence is strong for imagery, for photographs, drawings, paintings—and poetry, with its word-pictures.
- The brain doesn’t hold on to nonsense/unrelated/unstructured stuff for long because it can’t make sense out of it. We remember a song better than just learning individual words.
- Immediate rewards for correct answers are less effective than periodic rewards it comes to learning/remembering.
- Why is recall of pictures better than recall of word lists?
- Memory has 2 strengths — Storage & Retrieval
- Measure of how well learned something is.
- Builds up while studying and grows sharply when we use it.
- E.g. Multiplication Tables — learned early in life but we use them continually throughout and hence are embedded in our brains.
- Builds up with time and never decreases