Many of us are able to speedily recollect our experiences from the
past while we struggle to remember what we did the day before!
Many are, very often, good at remembering the details of a fight
they had with their best friend, or a break up with a close companion, that they
had years ago but they may not be good at recollecting what they had for dinner
the night before !! This has, indeed, baffled many and prompted them to ponder.
The reason for this biased memory, according to Toronto university
scientists, is that the more something impacts you the more likely you are to
remember and recollect it later on.
According to Rebecca Todd, a postdoctoral fellow at the
university's Department of Psychology and the lead author of the present study,
"We show a propensity to recall things that are more exciting, emotionally,
than things that are mundane. Besides, we are also more likely to recollect
things that we have perceived well."
Todd and colleagues called this phenomenon 'emotionally enhanced
vividness', which they describe as being akin to a flashbulb that illuminates
an event, or a scene, and captures it for life.
They, along with researchers at the University of Manchester and
the University of California, San Diego, studied brain activity and discovered
that the amygdala, part of the brain that deals with emotions and past
experiences is found to be more active when dealing with images that are rated
This elevated activity in the amygdala, in turn, enhances activity
in both the visual cortex and the posterior insula, which is a region that
integrates various body sensations.
It has been understood that the reason why people have a vivid
perception of emotionally- significant images or episodes is due to enhanced
clarity and emotional arousedness associated with the image.
The recent study conducted by Todd and
colleagues was recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience.