5 Fascinating Facts About Sudden Memories
Many of you have had the experience of a thought or memory just popping up, seemingly unrelated to your ongoing day. Some of these pop-up memories can be traced to a trigger – for example, you hear a song and remember an old love. That one is easy to figure. What about the more obscure happenings?
Here is some fun (and accurate) information about memory pop-ups.
1. On average, people have one pop up per day (some have none).
2. Pop ups are most likely to happen when you are during routine activities, like walking, driving your car, brushing your teeth or getting dressed because your attention is roaming and diffused.
3. Some memory-pops can be traced back to their causes, like my example above. Here is a more obscure chain. You are cleaning up after dinner and suddenly you remember a vacation in Florida when you were a child. Not a trauma, just a holiday. Later, you realize that the TV was on and an ad touted a hotel with a similar name to the one you stayed at when you were a child.
4. Pop-ups can occur long after the original trigger, suggesting that words, images and ideas can be stored in the brain for a considerable period.
5. Most of this processing is unconscious and not controlled by you although you can train yourself to recall all sorts of stuff.
source: Kvavilashvili & Mandler, 2004