(English) And you think you have a ‘bad memory’…

Memento film poster

Source: Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Memento_poster.jpg


So many believe they have a ‘bad memory’ when they don’t. All they need is a bit of understanding of how the memory works and guidance on how to get the most out of it. But the memory is an extremely complex cognitive function and damage to certain parts of the brain can trigger rather surprising memory problems…

Anterograde amnesia – no new memories

People who suffer from anterograde amnesia are incapable of remembering events that happen after their amnesia started. Maybe you know the film Memento by Christopher Nolan, it is a good illustration of what happens with anterograde amnesia. The main character’s new experiences don’t lead to new memories. He forgets while things are happening, so he has to take photos and notes of people and events. SPOILER: it doesn’t end well…

Retrograde amnesia – no old memories

When it comes to retrograde amnesia, it is rather events that took place before the amnesia started that are forgotten. This condition is often depicted in films but rarely accurately.

Transient global amnesia – memory trouble that can affect anyone

This surprising phenomenon is characterised by the onset of sudden and transient memory trouble lasting 4 to 7 hours. This type of amnesia results in an inability to make new memories, in other words anterograde amnesia. It is during this state that it is impossible to retain anything: we forget things as they happen (we don’t remember where we are, why we are there, the conversations we are having…). This type of memory trouble can affect anyone. But it is mostly people aged 50 to 80 years old who are affected after a physical effort, stressful experience or even after a change of temperature (often this happens in the morning in the shower). However there is no need to worry about this type pf memory trouble, it is harmless.

Who are you? Or Prosopagnosia

Prosopagnosia is an inability to recognise faces: those who suffer from this type of memory trouble have ‘face blindness’ so cannot identify or memorise human face. If you had this illness you wouldn’t be able to recognise anyone, even those closest to you. So to recognise people in their lives they have to rely on physical characteristics such as hairstyles, make-up, odours or even how people walk…

Many people are reported to suffer from this memory trouble such as the Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and the French actor Thierry Lhermite.

Hyperthymesia: on 17 July 2003 I was…

This is a condition where autobiographical memory, or memory of personal life experiences is excessive. Those suffering from Hyperthymesia retain a monstrous quantity of details in a totally involuntary way such as the meal they ate four years on a specific date. Hyperthymesia is a mentally exhausting burden, not some kind of super power, because of the constant, uncontrollable flow of memories into the mind.

For this article, many thanks go to Laetitia Legoux, specialist in applied cognitive psychology on education technology.

Learn more about the memory

If worried about retaining what you learn, be inspired by extraordinary mental feats by people who have an ordinary memory.

L'affiche du film Henoïda

Source: license ‘Fair use’ via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Memento_poster.jpg

Beaucoup de monde pensent qu’ils ont une ‘mauvaise mémoire’ et ce n’est pas le cas. Ils ont juste besoin de comprendre un peu comment la mémoire fonctionne et comment en tirer le maximum. Mais la mémoire est une fonction cognitive très complexe et des atteintes de certaines parties du cerveau peuvent provoquer des troubles de mémoire assez surprenants…

Amnésie antérograde, l’oubli à mesure

Les personnes atteintes d’une amnésie antérograde sont incapables de se rappeler des évènements qui arrivent après le début de cette amnésie. Vous connaissez peut-être le film Memento, de Christopher Nolan. Ce film est une bonne illustration de ce qu’est l’amnésie antérograde. Le personnage principal oublie rapidement ce qu’il vit : il oublie « à mesure » que les choses se passent, obligé de prendre des photos et des notes des personnes, évènements qu’il rencontre. SPOILER : ça se termine mal…

Amnésie rétrograde, l’amnésie du passé

Lors d’une amnésie rétrograde, se sont au contraire les évènements qui sont survenus avant l’accident qui ne sont pas souvenus. Cette atteinte est souvent traitée dans des films mais rarement avec justesse.

L’ictus amnésique, un phénomène qui peut toucher tout le monde !

Ce phénomène impressionnant se caractérise par un trouble soudain et transitoire de la mémoire (il dure entre 4 et 7 heures). Cette amnésie provoque un oubli à mesure, donc une amnésie antérograde. Il est pendant cet état impossible de retenir quoique ce soit : on oublie au fur et à mesure ce qu’il se passe (on ne reconnait plus le lieu où on est, de pourquoi on y est, des conversations que l’on a…). Ce phénomène peut arriver à tout le monde, mais touche principalement les personnes entre 50 et 80 ans, suite à un effort physique, à un stresse ou encore à un changement de température (souvent celui-ci arrive le matin en prenant sa douche). Mais ne vous inquiétez pas, ce trouble est bénin.

Qui es-tu ? Ou la prosopagnosie

La prosopagnosie est un trouble de la reconnaissance des visages : les personnes qui en sont atteintes sont dans l’incapacité d’identifier ou de mémoriser les visages humains. Si vous étiez victime de cette maladie, vous ne reconnaitriez personne, ni même vos proches.
Ces personnes se basent alors sur des caractéristiques physiques de leurs entourages pour les reconnaitre : la coiffure, le maquillage, l’odeur ou encore la démarche…
Sachez que l’acteur Thierry Lhermite, le co-fondateur de la société Apple, Steve Wozniak, et la princesse héritière Victoria de Suède sont tous victimes de cette maladie

L’hypermnésie : Le 17 juillet 2003, je faisais ….

La mémoire autobiographique, c’est-à-dire des évènements liés à la vie de la personne, est excessive. La personne retient une quantité monstrueuse de détails rencontrés dans sa vie de manière totalement involontaire tel que le repas qu’elle a mangé à telle date il y a 4 ans…
Un mauvais super-pouvoir donc, car les personnes atteintes de cette pathologie la voient comme un fardeau, le flux de souvenir étant constant et incontrôlable, fatiguant ainsi l’esprit de ces personnes.

Pour cet article, nous remercions Laetitia Legoux, spécialiste en psychologie cognitive appliquée à l’éducation numérique.

Plus d’infos sur la mémoire

Si vous vous inquiétez de ne pas pouvoir retenir tout ce que vous apprenez, soyez inspiré par les exploits mentaux extraordinaires de gens qui ont une mémoire ordinaire.” width=”268″ height=”394″ /> [/caption]So many believe they have a ‘bad memory’ when they don’t. All they need is a bit of understanding of how the memory works and guidance on how to get the most out of it. But the memory is an extremely complex cognitive function and damage to certain parts of the brain can trigger rather surprising memory problems…

Anterograde amnesia – no new memories

People who suffer from anterograde amnesia are incapable of remembering events that happen after their amnesia started. Maybe you know the film Memento by Christopher Nolan, it is a good illustration of what happens with anterograde amnesia. The main character’s new experiences don’t lead to new memories. He forgets while things are happening, so he has to take photos and notes of people and events. SPOILER: it doesn’t end well…

Retrograde amnesia – no old memories

When it comes to retrograde amnesia, it is rather events that took place before the amnesia started that are forgotten. This condition is often depicted in films but rarely accurately.

Transient global amnesia – memory trouble that can affect anyone

This surprising phenomenon is characterised by the onset of sudden and transient memory trouble lasting 4 to 7 hours. This type of amnesia results in an inability to make new memories, in other words anterograde amnesia. It is during this state that it is impossible to retain anything: we forget things as they happen (we don’t remember where we are, why we are there, the conversations we are having…). This type of memory trouble can affect anyone. But it is mostly people aged 50 to 80 years old who are affected after a physical effort, stressful experience or even after a change of temperature (often this happens in the morning in the shower). However there is no need to worry about this type pf memory trouble, it is harmless.

Who are you? Or Prosopagnosia

Prosopagnosia is an inability to recognise faces: those who suffer from this type of memory trouble have ‘face blindness’ so cannot identify or memorise human face. If you had this illness you wouldn’t be able to recognise anyone, even those closest to you. So to recognise people in their lives they have to rely on physical characteristics such as hairstyles, make-up, odours or even how people walk…

Many people are reported to suffer from this memory trouble such as the Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and the French actor Thierry Lhermite.

Hyperthymesia: on 17 July 2003 I was…

This is a condition where autobiographical memory, or memory of personal life experiences is excessive. Those suffering from Hyperthymesia retain a monstrous quantity of details in a totally involuntary way such as the meal they ate four years on a specific date. Hyperthymesia is a mentally exhausting burden, not some kind of super power, because of the constant, uncontrollable flow of memories into the mind.

For this article, many thanks go to Laetitia Legoux, specialist in applied cognitive psychology on education technology.

Learn more about the memory

If worried about retaining what you learn, be inspired by extraordinary mental feats by people who have an ordinary memory.