This is so interesting. There are scads of comments but they’re well worth reading.  One interesting thing I came across is the idea that deja vu is the result of your brain "messing up" and simultaneously processing a stream of events as observations and memory.  Deja vu is definitely pretty high on my "things to ask God someday" list.

One of the main debates in the article is the belief that memories cannot form until a person is 3 years old.  I have tons of memories from the house that I lived in for most of my pre-5-years-old life, but as I sit here and think, I can’t think of any that are definitely before age 3.  That’s just me, though, I’m not saying that proves/disproves anything about that concept.

All theorizing aside, I do enjoy the article just to read the memories that people share.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply


01. Dec 30, 2002 at 4:19am by Anthony:

This post (from the article) is intriguing:

" I had a girlfriend about 8 years ago who talked in her sleep (not mindless babble; very intelligent conversation) and slept A LOT because she had mononucleosis.

When she was asleep, she behaved a lot like people do when they’re hypnotized. When asleep (and only when asleep) her hearing was amazing: she could hear a whisper 80 feet away when we were specifically trying to not let her hear. She also had an absolutely perfect memory of everything. And I do mean everything. She could quote to me word-for-word lengthy conversations I had had with her weeks, even months, earlier.

It might be worth mentioning that she, though absolutely alert, would refuse to open her eyes when she was asleep. She said it made her dizzy. She did just fine without them, though. She could move around, interact with her environment, walk, and I even saw her jog a few steps on a hill outside. Eyes closed the whole time.

Even more frightening still, when she was asleep, she mentioned quite casually that she had complete access to all her prior memories, and furthermore had absolute control over which of those her awake self could remember. She had to pick and choose which ones to give access to "other" awake self because when awake, she way too distracted by life and everything to be able to remember it all. It’s as if the pathway to the memories was there, but she couldn’t get to them because her mind was so busy doing what it has to do to stay awake.

Looking back, I think that her increased hearing ability and amazing memory were somehow tied to the fact that she refused to use her eyes. Just think of how much computing power it takes to process video, particularly if your primary task is recognizing what the objects you see are. Immagine having a computer that had the power to process images in real time with the power, speed and accuracy our own minds have. Now immagine shutting off that facility and using that processing power elsewhere. I think shutting down image processing takes a tremendous strain off your mind and could, in theory, free it to do more deep introspection than otherwise possible.

I once asked her when she was alseep what her earliest memory was. She said she was very small, laying on her stomach, looking down at her blanket but wanting to look up. She said she felt frustrated because she didn’t know how to move. I guess she still hadn’t figured how to move her limbs. I don’t know how old that would put her at, but certainly not much. She estimated she was about two (days, not years).

She had no reason to lie about it either (and, it seemed, was in fact incapable of intentional deception when she was asleep) so at least she believed what she said. Whether it’s true or not I don’t know, but I have no reason to disbelieve her. She did things asleep that were far more amazing than remembering her infancy. "

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