are stored in pieces all over the brain
a happy memory seems like popping a favorite movie in the
VCR, but Harvard's Dan
Schacter shows Alan Alda that human memories are much
less dependable than videotape.
"True or False," Schacter has Alan watch a staged scene in
which a couple enjoys a picnic. When Alan leaves, a photographer
take pictures of the scene, including some things Alan never
true events lights up the auditory cortex
days later, Schacter shows Alan the photos, asking him to
identify which things really happened and which he'd seen
only in the photographs. Alan mistakenly "recalls" a few scenes
he never witnessed, proving that memory is malleable.
not surprising, given that memory is stored in bits and pieces
all over the brain, with the hippocampus acting as an index.
Armed with that knowledge, Schacter PET scans a brain as it
is remembering, and actually sees the difference between real
and false memories.