Your memory is like a game of telephone

tin can phoneRemember the game "telephone"? Someone starts by saying a sentence to the person next to them. That person then turns to someone else and repeats what they heard. Somehow, by the time the sentence gets to the last person in line, it’s all mixed up and barely resembles the original.

Apparently our memories operate in the same way.

A study published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience looks at how we retrieve memories. It’s a well-known phenomenon that retrieval is good for memory – the more you remember something, the longer you’ll remember it for.

The catch, researchers have discovered, is that each time you retrieve a memory you forget or add small things to it, and the next time you recall the information, you’ll remember what you remembered.

"Our memories aren’t like a photograph," says lead study author Donna Bridge. "We mix up details, we forget things. We’re likely to remember this incorrect information just as much as we are the correct (memory)."
In other words, the more you recall an event, the more distorted your memory of that event may be.

Full story of memory and games at CNN Health

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin,

Published by

Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.