The line between memory and imagination?

DiscussionCategory: QuestionsThe line between memory and imagination?
Kate EbeyerKate Ebeyer asked 8 months ago

As someone who’s hyperphatastic, I wonder how often my imagination gets in the way of my true memories. If I am able to creates such intense images in my mind, to the point where they feel real with all of my senses, would you perhaps think that when recalling true memories, my mind adds or removes specific details without my realization?

2 Answers
Jennifer McDougallJennifer McDougall Staff answered 8 months ago

That’s a SUPER interesting question. I would think, yes, that it’s entirely possible for our imaginations to add or remove details to our memories and that these additions or subtractions could go unnoticed. Though, my opinion is not scientific. I would be curious to know if anyone has done research on hyperphantastics and whether this has been substantiated through research?

Nathan BlumenfeldNathan Blumenfeld answered 6 months ago

I think it’s generally accepted that memory is unreliable and fluid in just about everyone — one of the reasons why eyewitness testimony holds way too much power in law. Our imaginations are great at filling in details after the fact, at distorting events based on the hormone cocktails our cells dump infuse us with in stressful or emotional situations, at rewriting our memories of events to justify the decisions we have made and help us keep a positive idea of ourselves. We are always reinterpreting our pasts to fit with our current idea of ourselves. It’s very frequent to be unsure whether something is a true memory or a created memory. Not sure how anyone would quantify whether it’s moreso in some people than in others.

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