The Brain Abhors A Vacuum

So says Scott Fraser, Forensic Neurophysiologist. In my world there is a skeleton of facts that is fleshed out by imagination.

When I write I have the nugget of a memory and over the years the memory is only kept alive by re-thinking and re-imagining it over and over. It is called reconstructive memory. We ALL do it. There is no other process for keeping memory alive as far as I know. It does suffer from the flaw – anyone, anyone, please say it ain’t just me – that we are all terrible at remembering and keep it whole by adding bits as required.

Anyone, anyone at all, who claims to recall accurately an event more than a few hours old is just deluding themselves and, at worst, practising an intentional deception on others.

There is a really interesting TED Talk on the fallibility of eyewitness accounts by Scott Fraser that is definitely worth a watch. Watch it, you’ll be stunned.

So, if anyone wonders if what I say here is actual fact then bear in mind that the way I try to put flesh on the skeleton is by making it slightly humorous. I like to laugh at the past ‘cos why get dragged down and bogged in it. We could all wallow in self-pity, but that sucks. As is oft said by me;  Illegitimi non carborundum .

Oh, and if you find yourself bumping up against eye-witness accounts then do question them, thoroughly.

One thought on “The Brain Abhors A Vacuum

  1. Many years ago I did a psychology course where we learned that eye-witness testimony is the least reliable of any form. Which is useful.

Comments are closed.