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Memory Panel Contribution

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There are several different scientific classifications of memory. The type that memoirists most often use is delineated thus: Long-term -> Declarative -> Episodic.

Declarative or explicit memory requires conscious recall, which is what memoirists attempt when writing a scene from memory. Episodic, aka autobiographical memory, is made up of personal memories: sensations, emotions, and associations as well as events. Information in episodic memory is specific to its context, i.e. time and place.

While the physical mechanisms of long-term memory are currently unknown, it is thought that memories are consolidated and organized during sleep. Dreams are hypothesized to be our brains trying to make sense of the days events, and other memories

[...] She writes that ?since memory is informed by imagination, what we write is innately distorted, which undermines any memoir's ?accuracy' in historical terms, [but] readers understand, of course, that no one lives with a Handycam strapped to her head for research purposes.? (Not having a Handycam, however, may be a slight understatement, as Karr did in fact admit to consciously fabricating at least one part of her own memoir.) Interestingly enough, she goes one to say she even ?rejected the strong suggestion of one publishing executive that [she] include a touching goodbye scene with [her] mother? because she didn't really remember it. [...]


[...] memory panel contribution 1. The hard science of memory Memory how it works There are several different scientific classifications of memory. The type that memoirists most often use is delineated thus: Long-term Declarative Episodic. Declarative or explicit memory requires conscious recall, which is what memoirists attempt when writing a scene from memory. Episodic, aka autobiographical memory, is made up of personal memories: sensations, emotions, and associations as well as events. Information in episodic memory is specific to its context, i.e. [...]

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