Daniela Schiller – Memory Researcher

So on the topic of reminiscence I came across Daniela Schiller, one of the world’s leading memory researchers. In the video above she speaks about her memory research and and what her father refusal to talk about the Holocaust had to do with it.

In the video she speaks about how there is a window of opportunity to change a memory, each time your retrieve a memory it is venerable in your brain.

Once you access a memory you change it. You don’t remember the actual memory but you remember the last retrieval of it.

She concludes by saying that “if memories change when we access them its the good memories we want to protect. If you have a precious memory and talk about it in the bar or at a party and with friends- you end up trivialising it and it doesn’t feel the same. But recently i realised there is actually one way to freeze a memories. If you want to keep a memory as it is you carve it into a story, its like a snapshot in time. Its not keeping only the content, its keeping the feeling alive. the best part is now your not the only one remembering it, we all are.”

In the beginning of the video she speaks about the fear of the ‘blue square’ this is again the association theory i spoke about before. (correct term is classical conditioning) Only she turns this analysis from something bad to something good. So if i was to create a game that evoked a memory but created a talking point from it, this could potentially help the user remember the memory.

e.g. if i used a picture of an old type of sweets and used some sort of prompt to get the user talking about it and so create a story from this item it could help their cognition.

More detailed explanation of the above video


‘The only way to keep memories pure and not modified is through art because if you carve a memory into a story or an art form this capture the original emotion in the memory and its unchanged and actually recreating the emotion. Art has an intimate relation with memories.’


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