Episode 46, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube


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Daniel Schacter is a professor of psychology at Harvard University who specializes in memory and amnesia. During our conversation, Daniel talks about the evolutionary purpose of human memory, the biological basis of memory, the movie "Memento," the correlation between memory and intelligence, how fMRI technology can help detect false memories, what can be done to improve memory, and he explains the difference between "The Seven Sins of Memory": transience, absent-mindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence.

Our memories play a crucial role in the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. Daniel has spent a career applying reason to the subject of human memory, and his work helps us better understand who we are and what is true.

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Time Stamps:

(00:00) Introduction
(02:06) The path to researching the cognitive neuroscience of memory
(07:55) The general consensus about memory during the 1970s and 1980s
(12:14) Why memory exists: to preserve experiences, think and reflect, and learn
(14:45) Understanding explicit and implicit memory with the example of a patient with Hippocampus damage
(18:12) What is episodic memory?
(23:49) The movie Memento - anterograde amnesia
(29:50) The correlation between memory and intelligence
(38:44) The seven sins of memory: transience, absent-mindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, persistence
(01:05:55) The link between rumination and persistence
(01:13:02) Realizing your memory problems to make better decisions
(01:19:41) Using technology to preserve your past meaningfully
(01:20:24) What the future holds for memory research