1st Edition

Memories That Matter How We Remember Important Things

By Christopher R. Madan Copyright 2024
    650 Pages 82 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    650 Pages 82 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    What makes some experiences more memorable than others? How can you better remember specific information later? Memories That Matter addresses these questions and more.

    The book is divided into three parts with each part focusing on a different aspect of memory. Part 1 discusses everyday uses of memory and why we remember, establishing a foundation for how memory is structured and stored in the brain. Part 2 dives into what makes us remember. Emotional and rewarding experiences are both more memorable than mundane experiences but are often studied using different approaches. Self-relevance and objects we can interact with are remembered better than less relevant information. The author explores these motivation-related influences on memory and considers whether a common mechanism underlies them all. Part 3 changes the focus, discussing how we sometimes want to remember specific information that does not automatically capture our attention. The book considers evidence-based learning strategies and memory strategies, whilst also exploring real-world applications, with discussion of professions that accomplish amazing memory feats daily. The book concludes with a reflection on how the role of memory is changing as our world makes information increasingly accessible, particularly with the ever-expanding influence of the internet.

    Drawing from a variety of literatures and perspectives, this important book will be relevant for all students of memory from psychology, cognitive neuroscience and related health backgrounds.

    List of Figures
    List of Tables
    About this Book
    Reminder Cues
    I Introduction
    1 Pondering the past and fantasising of the future
    1.1 Why study memory
    1.2 Memory is special
    1.3 Memory as a recording
    1.4 Memory is a reconstruction
    1.5 Memory is the basis of imagination
    II Fundamentals
    2 Considering the functional purpose
    2.1 Memory for everyday events
    2.2 Story narratives
    2.3 Truths and lies
    2.4 Verbatim recall
    2.5 Availability
    3 Structure and organisation
    3.1 Taxonomy of memory
    3.2 Memory strength and precision
    3.3 Associations and order
    3.4 Memory capacity
    3.5 Broader memory principles
    4 Individual variability
    4.1 Aging
    4.2 Variability in memory ability
    4.3 Ability to imagine: Phantasia
    4.4 Memory abilities at the extremes
    4.5 Patient H.M.
    5 Neurobiological architecture
    5.1 Memory is distributed, yet modular
    5.2 Cortical specialisation
    5.3 Medial temporal lobe
    5.4 Role of the hippocampus
    5.5 Progression of Alzheimer’s disease
    III Motivation
    6 Memories of emotions past
    6.1 Flashbulb memories
    6.2 Emotional experiences
    6.3 Confounds and considerations
    6.4 Memory is multifaceted
    6.5 Good is not merely the opposite of bad
    7 Remembering the wins
    7.1 Experimental procedures
    7.2 Choices and lingering biases
    7.3 Decisions from experience
    7.4 Variations in procedures
    7.5 Individual differences in reward sensitivity
    8 Making it personal
    8.1 Autobiographical memory
    8.2 Lifespan distribution of memories
    8.3 Self narratives and identity
    8.4 Self-reference effect
    8.5 Egocentric bias
    9 Moving to remember
    9.1 Enactment
    9.2 Semantic properties of motoric stimuli
    9.3 Neurobiology
    9.4 The treachery
    9.5 Drawing
    10 A domain-general influence of motivation
    10.1 Considering a common motivational process
    10.2 Neurobiology of motivational domains
    10.3 A generalised view of availability
    10.4 Animacy effects
    10.5 Adaptive memory
    IV Deliberate Strategies
    11 Strategies for deliberate memorisation
    11.1 Repetition, repetition
    11.2 Content-specific mnemonics
    11.3 Scaffold mnemonics
    11.4 Understanding and information relevance
    11.5 Gamification
    12 Memory experts across diverse domains
    12.1 Structured knowledge
    12.2 Perceptual identification
    12.3 Schematic frameworks
    12.4 Verbatim recall
    12.5 Memory champions
    13 Extended mind, expanded memory
    13.1 Daily external aids
    13.2 Veridical recordings, but also highlight reels
    13.3 Remembering how instead of what
    13.4 Memory in a digital society
    13.5 Fictional future technologies
    V Conclusion
    14 Final thoughts
    14.1 Memory systems and taxonomy
    14.2 Neurobiology of cognition
    14.3 Technological innovations
    14.4 Assumptions and generalisations
    14.5 Here be dragons
    Quiz Answers


    Christopher R. Madan is Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham.