Body Posture affecting memory recall

First Mixing Memory wrote about it; and now Dave at Cognitive Daily was enchanted with this study that shows that if one assumes a body posture during memory retrieval, which is the same as the body posture at the time of memory formation, then the recall is better. I do like this study, and I think it is important, but am hardly surprised or overwhelmed by the results.

To explain the study in a nutshell (you are encouraged to read about the study at Mixing Memory or Cognitive Daily), the authors found that juts like some smells, sights or sounds can trigger associated memories, so too can the body posture. Now, to m this doesn’t come a s a surprise because I have always been fascinated by the three other senses that are normally ignored by those who claim we have juts five senses: sight, sound, touch (includes all somato-sensory senses like pain , temperature etc), smell and taste. The three other senses that are normally ignored are Vestibular sense (or the sense of balance), kinesthetic sense (or the sense of self movement) and the proprioception sense (the sense of body position and posture).

Evidently if memory encoding uses some sort of sensory inputs to encode a particular memory, it is clear that memories would be assorted with all of the sense modalities and a trigger in any of them that is strong enough, can trigger that memory recall.

One can test this for the other sense too – the vestibular and kinesthetic – and one would find that one can recall memories better if the same vestibular or kinesthetic conditions are invoked. Experimentally one can have people dance, put them in merry-go-rounds, put them atop an elephant, let them drive, let them go up and down in the lift and ask for congruent or incongruent memory recall. I wont be surprised if the same effects are observed with the kinesthetic sense too. Maybe one of you can make this your thesis and tell me the results, so I can blog about it later!

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