False Memories

Here is a very interesting study on how false memories are formed.

''We think parts of the brain used to actually perceive an object and to imagine an object overlap,'' said Paller. ''Thus, a vividly imagined event can leave a memory trace in the brain that's very similar to that of an experienced event. When memories are stored for perceived or imagined objects, some of the same brain areas are involved.''

Take a real life example in which a police interrogator asks if you saw a particular person at a crime scene. That induces putting that person in your imagination and possibly corrupts later questioning.

''Just the fact of looking back into your memory and thinking about whether an event happened is tantamount to imagining that event happening,'' Paller said. ''If I ask you if something happened, you imagine it happening. Later on — a day or a year later — if I ask about that event, you have the tough judgment of deciding what happened and what was imagined.''

It is important to know that memory is fallible, Paller said. ''We know that we forget quite a bit, but we're not always in touch with the idea that our memories can sometimes can be misleading.

How does this apply to business? Well, I don't know about you, but I'm always disagreeing with people and referring to past discussions which they seem to have forgotten. Sometimes I feel like I should tape every conversation I have.