General Question

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Are you more likely to remember something if your eyes are open?

Asked by TitsMcGhee (8214 points ) April 8th, 2009

Does having visual information make it easier to remember something, or are scent and taste really the most powerful senses attached with memory? Do you find you remember things better if one or two specific senses are engaged?

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12 Answers

Zen's avatar

I like this one and look forward to the answers. I don’t see very well, and am colour-blind.

I use my sense of smell a lot, and hearing too. That is one of the reasons why I went into aromatherapy – it just felt natural to me. I also love music, and can usually identify a song I know from just a note sometimes, from anywhere in the song.

sandystrachan's avatar

Is it not the case that , you remember things better while you sleep hence all the sleep learning tapes . Oh and tv also did something about this a while back , Mythbusters show also did it

Zen's avatar

@larsalan Curious. In suspense. Is there hidden meaning to your remark, or maybe you’ve been kidnapped mid-typing? I’ve messaged you but to no avail. I hope it’s cuz the boss suddenly came by your cubicle?
;-)

tinyfaery's avatar

If you are a visual learner, then yes. A kinetic learner, for instance, might not need the visual information.

Bagardbilla's avatar

I’d think the more senses are involved in the interaction, better the chances of neural connections for memory formation…
my 2 ¥

MacBean's avatar

The person I know with the best memory is blind. Just sayin’.

zephyr826's avatar

For me, smell has always been one of the more important memory triggers, but it then links in my brain to the visuals of that moment. So I need the two together. I have very few memories from the first few weeks of spring and fall, when my allergies kick in.

Zen's avatar

I teach ESL, and I always recommend IHT.com which has the option to both read and listen to some articles. They are read clearly, with a well-modulated voice, with the added benefit of reading the words at the same time as hearing them – a great way to really improve your vocabulary and get over the pronunciation problem – which diminishes confidence and restricts the ability to really collect new words. Can’t beat that.

Anyone else have any other websites that offer that?

nikipedia's avatar

It depends on what you’re trying to remember. The biggies for enhancing memory (on a single trial; let’s not worry about types of learning) are, in no particular order:

1. Attention
2. Arousal
3. Salience

Some of these sort of descend into each other, but generally, what this means is that the best way to remember something is to give it your full attention; try to remember something that is extremely arousing (not the sexin’ kind of arousing [necessarily]); and try to remember something that is relevant to you somehow.

But arousal and attention can sometimes be effectively the same thing; also, salience doesn’t really have to mean personal salience—something can also be salient because it’s new, because it’s dangerous, because it’s different from what you expected, because it differs sharply from the other things you’re attending to, etc. So these things are all pretty well interrelated.

So what does this have to do with vision? If you’re trying to encode a visual stimulus into your memory, you better have your eyes open, and you better attend to it fully. But if you’re trying to remember an auditory stimulus, you may do better to close your eyes and devote your full attention to the sound.

….I think. If I get a chance, I will ask in class today.

loser's avatar

Yes, I’m a visual memory type.

Blondesjon's avatar

As ab expwiment i habe blindfolsed myseld anf am now attemring ro ansqer thid queatiom

unfortumatwly i canr remenber whar i wad goinf to say

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