Author Archives: Aubree

Boundary Extension: Beneficial or Problematic?

Boundary Extension occurs when one is remembering an image. Boundary Extension is when one includes more details than were actually shown. When I think of this process, it makes me think of the zoom function on a camera. To be more specific, when you see the image for the first time it’s as if the camera is zoomed in and focused on one piece of a bigger picture. Then, when you remember it later, it’s as if your brain zoomed out to reveal what was surrounding that one small piece. The information that is stored in our Long Term Visual Memory is referred to as image files. We use these as rules to construct and reconstruct images in our mind. It can be problematic if one is incorrect in their assumptions of the background. However, these image files and the process of background extension can be useful for our understanding of the world as comprehensive and continuous. It may also be useful if you are attempting to remember a scene or where an object was when you only saw that scene for a short period of time. For example, image driving your friend home from school. When you arrive at their house, you go inside to use the bathroom. Then you leave and return home, only to realize that your backpack is nowhere to be found. Then, you realize that you left it at your friend’s house when you walked inside. You cannot remember where exactly you left it but you do remember that it was next to the blue lamp. As you picture the blue lamp, you attempt to recall what is around the lamp. Usually, we find a desk or a couch is next to a lamp. This image file allows you to recall that you left your backpack next to the desk in the study. This is just one of the many uses of background extension.

Boundary extension. (n.d.). Retrieved April 23, 2016, from



Amnesia can be one of the most devastating things a person can go through. I cannot even begin to imagine how it must feel to be unable to remember the past or to be unable to create new memories. Amnesia can be caused due to brain damage, tumors, harmful substance use, and even an extremely poor diet. There are plenty of movies that poke fun at those with amnesia, such as Finding Dory. However, there is one movie that I feel provides a true example of what life must be like for those who have retrograde amnesia: The Vow.

This movie is based upon a true story. In this movie a husband and wife get into a serious car accident and the wife suffers brain injuries. When she finally wakes up, she doesn’t recognize her husband. Due to the car accident, she is suffering from retrograde amnesia which is when one cannot remember anything past a certain date. In her case, she can’t remember the last 18 months of her life. While her husband insists that it is best for her to return to her usual life, her parents think she should go back to living at home and attends to law school since that is the last thing she remembers.  Eventually, she sides with her parents and returns home. This movie raises the question as to whether someone who essentially has a chance to re-do the last few years of their lives will still become the same person. In her case, she does become the same person she was before and she falls in love with her husband again.

It turns out that her husband was right in his opinion for her to return home. The doctor in the film also advised that she try to fill the blanks in her memories rather than be afraid of losing those years of her life. This is what doctors would recommend in real-life situations in addition to meeting on a regular basis with a counselor since there is no actual cure. Exposing the person to their forgotten past should help resurface those forgotten memories.

One way to prevent false memories!


A false memory is a recollection of something that never actually happened. However, even though it did not actually happen, it seems as real to you as any other true memory. False memories often occur when remembering an event from the distant past or a stressful situation. This is why eye-witness testimonies are not always reliable. Most of the time these false memories are of the details of a situation, like how old you were or how long your hair was. Sometimes, however, you might dream or imagine a situation and later it becomes a false memory. This can seem overwhelming when you think about it, how can we be sure of anything? It may seem like that movie Inception is at work.

Good news is, false memories can be prevented. One way is to keep a diary. I know you males out there are thinking, no way! That’s way too girly, right? Well, do yourselves a favor and just call it a journal or daily log or something more “masculine” to boost your self-esteem because this could actually help you. Below I will post a link from a man who has been keeping a daily diary account everyday for over 50 years! This man acknowledges that most of his false memories were confined to the small details of a situation. For example, he remembered his date to a concert incorrectly. However, if you keep a diary, like he did, you will be able to go back and check the accuracy of your memories, therefore correcting those pesky false memories. Note, it is extremely important, that you must be clear and accurate in your daily descriptions so that later you will have an accurate account of past events.

Multi-tasking Myth Bust!


Time flies, that’s for sure! It seems as though the more progress we make, the faster time goes. This seems to be the reason why it has become second nature to do multiple things at once. Things such as talking on the phone while doing homework or watching TV while you send an e-mail. When you think about how much you have to do in one day, it seems as though the only way you’ll ever be able to complete all your tasks is to combine a few and multi-task.

However, what most people don’t know is that you’re actually slowing yourself down! A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that students multi-tasking performed up to 40% slower. It has also been found in quite a few studies that the more similar the two tasks are, the longer it will take for you to complete them. This in turn can make us feel overwhelmed and stressed. Also, prolonged exposure to the stress hormone cortisol which may be released due to multi-tasking can lead to aggressive behavior. Researchers have also found that multi-tasking, especially with technology, has negatively affected children’s social skills in that they are unable to interpret non-verbal messages. Multi-tasking also seems to be related to some attention disorders.

These findings are not well known or common knowledge by any means. However, they should be, so everyone can make better and more reasonable decisions of how to spend their time. So, next time you’re tempted to send a quick text while talking to a friend or “keep yourself awake” by turning on the TV while you do your homework, think about what you just read. Is multi-tasking really going to help? Or will you take longer to complete your goal and become stressed because of it. Sometimes, it is better to slow down and maybe that will in turn slow time.

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