Researchers found that vivid memory and real perceptual experience share “striking” similarities at the neural level, although they are not “pixel-perfect” brain pattern replications.
“Our study has confirmed that complex, multi-featured memory involves a partial reinstatement of the whole pattern of brain activity that is evoked during initial perception of the experience. This helps to explain why vivid memory can feel so real.”
Are vivid memories more accurate than non-vivid memories? Less vulnerable to fabrication and distortion? A memory can feel quite vivid but could be made up in part. Maybe there are certain aspects of a scene that we remember more accurately and other parts that we fill-in, even for a memory that feels like a powerfully accurate recording playing in our minds.
As always, it’s important to distinguish between the accuracy of the memory and the confidence people have in the accuracy of the memory. Are we good judges of how accurately we’ve remembered something?
Have you ever wondered why you can remember things from long ago as if they happened yesterday, yet sometimes can’t recall what you ate for dinner last night?