November 10, 2002
Gory Pictures Improve Memory Retention

This result suggests that college students should sit and watch parts of slasher movies interleaved with reading textbooks and class notes:

Nielson asked 32 people to memorize a list of words, such as fire, queen and butterfly. Half of them then watched a film of a full dental extraction, complete with blood and screeching drill. "It was nasty - it made you crawl," she says.

24 hours later, the traumatized subjects' word memory was around 10% better than that of those who'd sat through a dull video on tooth brushing. Emotion helps us remember, concludes Nielson, "but it doesn't have to be [personally] meaningful".

The next obvious round of experiments would be to use hormones such as adrenaline to try to see if the same mental state caused by watching the dental extraction can be invoked pharmacologically. The explanation for this might be that excitement increases the release of some hormones or neurotransmitters than, in turn, stimulate the division of neural stem cells in the hippocampus.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2002 November 10 12:35 PM  Brain Memory


Comments
Holee said at December 6, 2002 1:14 PM:

wicked!

Dr-D said at March 21, 2003 5:15 AM:

super dooper

Matt said at May 3, 2003 9:02 PM:

Not only that, it improves your tolerence to gore.

Justin said at July 29, 2003 9:58 PM:

haha..thats awesome...go to rotten.com...it has gory photos :)

yasit said at September 5, 2003 6:40 AM:

hey, could you guys help me with something? i need articles and stuff about children's memory retention through visual aids.....thanks!!!! hope to hear from you!!!!!!!!

neelam ahmed said at February 9, 2004 9:51 AM:

can you tell me about the study and hoe did it affect the people the participated it

Melissa** said at April 24, 2004 12:25 PM:

wow..kool...yeh fuh-real!go 2 rotten.com...BEST gory site!!! ;)

mark said at June 24, 2004 5:16 PM:

that is bs i was in combat and gory shit made me forget all kinds of shit ever since iraq i cant remeber shit anymore and seeing dead pictures of americans even makes it worse i think the study is bull shit and this is the same case with all my friends and we have gory picture of all the people we killed too.

Rajaish kanwal said at December 2, 2004 8:01 AM:

Dear sir/madam,

i am a teacher we have some studends they are very weak in studies. what they learn so in ohter minute they forget .

sir /madam is there any easy solution if u have so plz tell me on my e-mail address.

thans

rajaish kanwal

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