Why We Can't Trust Our Memories
Brain researcher Elizabeth Phelps wants to understand why you think your memory's better than it actually is.
Early in her restless, inventive career, Elizabeth Phelps was trying to understand the deep structure of memory by showing word lists to people with amnesia — patients who’d survived a brain injury or stroke but lost the ability to remember. When she’d talk about her work with friends, somebody would eventually ask: What do word lists really have to do with memories — the vivid images and intense emotions that flood the mind? It’s a good question. Why do you remembe...
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