Have you ever tried to think of something that felt like it was on the tip of your tounge, but you just couldn’t get it? It probably was right there on your hippocampus after all.
Neuroscientists from the University of California recently revealed some interesting results of a series of tests involving human memory capability. The results revealed that even while the brain is retrieving certain desired memories, it may not be communicating these memories to the conscious mind.
The tests were performed by showing images of faces paired with background scenes to volunteers. The volunteers were then shown the background scenes and had to properly match the correct face to each scene, which they were able to do two thirds of the time. The rest of the time, when the volunteers chose an incorrect match, eye movement analysis and functional magnetic resonance imaging of the volunteers’ brain activity showed that the hippocampus was still retrieving memories that just didn’t make it to consciousness.
Bridging the gap here would probably be the next step in human evolution. If we could tap into what our brains know that we, for some reason, don’t, we could all be walking supercomputers. Most importantly, I would remember where all those hidden rooms were in Super Metroid that I had to backtrack to without using a map. But, on the other hand, it would probably be way too much knowledge unless we also knew how to filter out the useless junk. Last week, my brain decided to deposit Hungry Eyes in my head for a few days, a song I haven’t heard in probably a decade. If random 80’s songs are the memories I’m able to recall better, I think I would prefer to keep my mind blank.