Dr. Julia Shaw On The Illusion of Memory

Our memories are deeply flawed and we would be happier if we accepted it.” – Dr. Julia Shaw

Meet Dr. Julia Shaw, criminal psychologist and author of The Memory Illusion. Julia appeared on Vice with a controversial memory hacking experiment. It asked could false memories be deliberately placed in people’s minds? What’s more, Julia now states that anything you remember before you were about two-and-a-half years old is a false memory.

“You could call my work memory hacking — I break into people’s memories and get them to recall in great detail events that have never actually happened.”

“Every memory you have ever had is chock-full of errors. I would even go as far as saying that memory is largely an illusion.”

“It’s such a terrifying but beautiful notion that every day you wake up with a slightly different personal past.”

Dr. Shaw introduces her new book The Memory Illusion:

Dr. Shaw is a psychological scientist and an icon what the future looks like today – smart, healthy, beautiful, compassionate and collected. Interestingly her work now involves criminology and understanding the science of memory. She discusses topics like:

  1. It´s not just about how much information we can cram into our memories, it´s also about how much we can keep out.
  1. Once they (the false memories) take hold false memories are no different from true memories in the brain.
  1. The question isn’t whether our memories are false, it’s how false are our memories.
  1. We take on the memories of others as our own, intentionally or not, and whether details are accurate or not. They’re contagious.

Watch the controversial video about a memory experiment lead by Dr. Shaw where she successfully implants false memories into people during interviews.

If you want to find out how much of your memories are true, see Dr. Julia Shaw’s much anticipated presentation at the Biohacker Summit on 18 November 2016. Get tickets here.

Find out more about Dr. Julia Shaw on her webpage.

Dr. Julia Shaw is a memory scientist at London South Bank University who loves to dispel misconceptions and challenge our notions of reality. In her research she convinces people that they committed crimes that never actually happened. When she’s not hacking into peoples’ memories, she is ineffectively Tweeting, or pouring her heart into her science communication, including hawking her popular science book “The Memory Illusion”. Dr. Shaw is also a regular contributor to the popular science magazine Scientific American, hosting a series on how our memories can mislead us called “Memory Mondays”.

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