The New York Times:
In “The Entire History of You,” the third episode of the dystopian British series “Black Mirror,” humans have developed implanted memory “grains” that record everything they see and hear. When users “redo” a memory by playing it back, the recreation even surpasses the original; they can zoom in on details or activate a lip-reading function to decipher unheard speech.
I thought of the episode when a friend showed me some pictures and videos of his two young children. There is more visual documentation of his kids from the last couple of months than of my entire childhood in the ’80s and ’90s. They’re growing up in a world far closer to one of grains and redos.
One recent study does suggest there is a “photo-taking-impairment effect” on memory. Linda Henkel, a professor of psychology at Fairfield University, wrote a 2014 study in the journal Psychological Science in which subjects were given digital cameras and led around an art museum on a guided tour. They were told to photograph certain objects and merely observe others. The participants remembered fewer details about the objects if they had photographed them, as they effectively outsourced their memory to the camera. (Memory was not affected if they were directed to zoom in on a part of the object, suggesting that the extra cognitive work compensated for their divided attention.)
Read the whole story: The New York Times