What Being Abducted Taught Me About Memory

A deep-dive into the science of remembering and what it can teach us about living better

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Making Memories

The Hippocampus

Total (Memory) Recall

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Another punch landed squarely on my jaw…

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BAJATE SUS MANOS HIJO DE P**A (Put your arms down, ya SOB)

Punch punch, ow ow

DIJE BAJATE LAS MANOS (I said put your hands down!)

OW

Courtesy of Giphy

DAME EL CÓDIGO! (Give me your PIN code)

Punch

Trés trés dos cuatro, I said, goblets of putty-like mucus hanging from my burning nostrils.

Elbow to the face

Código incorrecto! DAME EL P*** CÓDIGO HIJO DE P***! (Incorrect code, gimme the f***ing code, ya SOB)

Punch Punch to my temple

Chuta, no sé que te puedo decir, es 3324. (Crap, I don’t know what to tell you, its 3324)

Punch — jaw

INCORRECTO — QUIERES QUE TE GOLPEO MÁS HIJO DE P***?? (Incorrect, you want me to hit you more?)

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The Relativity of Memory

Courtesy of Giphy

Malleable Memories

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“Apparently stable memories may become susceptible to modifications when retrieved due to the process of reconsolidation.” — Dr. Karim Nader

Drug Therapy

Reconsolidation-updating: Tripping-up your Triggers

Photo from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605913/

Interference with Competing Information

“Whenever a patient consciously remembers the content of a flashback, the associated memory trace becomes temporarily unstable. If interference occurs during this time, the memory trace could be weakened, resulting in fewer flashbacks…” — Ruhr-University Bochum

Remember to Forget

Step 1: Recall Revision — Awareness of the past

Step 2: Interrupt the Past — Be in the Present

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Step 3: Update your Perspective

“What you do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like — it literally rewires it.” — John Medina

Final thoughts

Digital Health Product Manager and former Healthcare Worker. Passionate about increasing health access via technology and collaboration.