Photography Enthusiasts May Have Better Visual Memory

Khryss | Published 2017-06-29 08:08
But with a cost. With today's digital age, almost every one (and every generation) have learned to photograph anything about one's life. We chronicle our every movement from what we ate for breakfast to our most recent travels or special events. And who among you haven't heard atleast once (or used for that matter) the phrase "no photo, didn't happen"? Mundane things have become interesting thanks to social media. We might not notice but this habit has been affecting our lives, and I'm not even talking about it philosophically. A recent study found that (hey, good news!) taking photographs enhances our visual memory. However, this is in expense of our hearing memory. This is an expansion of a previous research that showed how Google searches saves up our brain's processing load by basically "outsourcing" memory. However, it doesn't necessarily mean it's helping with one's retention. To know if it's specifically true to those experiences we take photos of, they've conducted both field and lab experiments. It basically revolves on the question, "Does "outsourcing" memories through taking photos affect how one remembers them (given that we never revisit such memory)? In one test, they asked 294 participants to roam around a certain museum. They divided the group with those who had cameras and those who don't. For the former, they were told to take at least 10 pictures. The researchers also played an audio commentary for all of the participants to listen to. They were then asked to answer a multiple choice questionnaire about either the objects in the museum or statements the audio commentary talked about. Researchers found that those with a camera remembered more of the objects than the latter group but were less likely to remember what they've heard. "Our research is novel because it shows that photo-taking itself improves memory for visual aspects of an experience but can hurt memory for nonvisual aspects, like auditory details," the authorsĀ said. When recreated in a lab experiment, particularly on virtual reality, results showed that those who photograph (took screenshots) also remembered better most part of the exhibit including those they didn't take photos of. "These findings suggest that having a camera changes how people approach an experience in a fundamental way," the authorsĀ said.
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