Memory Forum

Following Chains of Association

by Josh Cohen on January 30, 2011

Since I began studying memory, I’ve been trying to observe how my brain works and why it thinks in certain ways. I’m interested in following natural chains of association to see where they go.

For example: overhearing a fragment of conversation at a restaurant could remind me of the lyrics of a song, which then transports me to a specific location where that song made impression on me.

A specific example is seeing the number 72, which I pronounce “KU”, which takes me to a Frank Sinatra song (“could you coo, could you care…“), which takes me to a specific place along the waterfront in Honolulu where I heard the song many years ago. (The spectacular view burned the song into my head at that one spot along my walk.) That chain of association clashes a little bit with the image for 72, which is a mythological Japanese creature that freezes travelers to death in snowstorms.

Music seems to be naturally location-based, which is an element that might have some application.

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    { 3 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Umair Rehman April 28, 2014 at 2:43 am

    You have created a very useful list of books that you have read. Could you share the books you own online because the literature is not very abundantly available?

    2 Josh Cohen April 28, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Are you referring to the memory books list? I don’t have electronic copies of the books and am not able to share copyrighted materials anyway.

    3 Josh Cohen April 28, 2014 at 8:38 am

    P.S., you can read thousands of posts of content about the techniques in the wiki and forum for free. Use the FAQs as a starting point.

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