「服務他人是你住地球應該付出的租金。」– 穆罕默德‧阿里 (拳擊手)
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." -- Muhammad Ali, Boxer




Memory probably isn't as good as we think it is. When we create new memories, our neurons create new connections in order to encode the memory. These new connections are then stored and established again when it is recalled. However, every time we recall a memory, we add slight variations to it. In our daily life, this isn't a bug, instead, it's a feature. We can't possibly remember every tiny detail we see, but our memories would feel incomplete if there were big swaths of gray running through them. So, the brain fills in the details as best it can, borrowing from other memories and the imagination in order to build what feels like a complete picture.



Since the 1990s, when DNA testing was first introduced, Innocence Project researchers in the United States have reported that 73 percent of the 239 convictions overturned through DNA testing were based on eyewitness testimony. One third of these overturned cases rested on the testimony of two or more mistaken eyewitnesses. Why did so many eyewitness testimonies get it wrong?


For many years, psychologists have pointed out that we suppress memories that are painful or damaging to our self-esteem. Furthermore, many victims block their memories of the attack completely after the painful experience. Meanwhile in the Ted Talk of Elizabeth Loftus, a false memory scholar, she mentioned a project in the United States. Information has been gathered on 300 innocent people who were convicted of crimes they didn't commit. They spent 10 years or more in prison for these non-existent crimes which now DNA testing has proven them to be innocent. When those cases were analyzed, three quarters of them were due to faulty eyewitness memory.

多年來,心理學家指出我們會壓抑痛苦甚至危及自我的記憶,因此,許多受害者會完全壓抑受害過程的記憶。同時,在研究虛構記憶專家Elizabeth Loftus的Ted Talk中,她提到美國有一項計畫顯示,計畫搜集資訊證明有300名無辜的被告,而這些人因為那些莫須有的罪刑在監獄裡虛耗了10年以上的人生。現在DNA鑑定已經證實他們其實是無辜的。綜合分析那些案子後,發現其中有3/4的人都是由於錯誤的記憶、錯誤的目擊指證記憶而遭到誤判。


Many people believe that memories are stored in our brains just as they are in computers. Once registered, the data is put away for safe-keeping and eventual recalled. The facts don't change. We just record the information, then we call it up and play it back when we want to answer questions or identify images. However, decades of work in psychology has shown that this just isn't true. Our memories are constructive and they're reconstructive. Memory works a little bit more like a Wikipedia page: we can go in there and change it, but so can other people. “We should all keep in mind that memory, like liberty, is a fragile thing.” said Elizabeth Loftus at the end of her TED talk.

很多人認為大腦記憶的運作方式就像電腦,記憶經存檔後就會被安全儲存,也能隨時點開,檔案內容並不會被任意更動。我們認為自己記錄下真實的事件,只要我們一需要回答問題或回顧畫面,就能點開讀檔。但幾十年來的心理研究指出,大腦的運作一點也不像電腦。我們的記憶其實具有可塑性,能夠被重新建構。記憶運作也不像電腦讀檔,反而更像是維基百科:我們能修改記憶內容,其他人也同樣可以竄改。最後,Elizabeth Loftus在她的TED talk最後說道:「我們應該對此銘記在心,記憶就和自由一樣,是個十分脆弱的東西。」

延伸影片:TED Talk

參考資料:TED Talk、Healthline、Scientific America、The Conversation、Psychreg