Ask the ScientistsJoin The Discussion 〉
What is the context of this research?
There has been a fair amount of psychological research on how people can use mnemonics (memory strategies) to improve their memory. However, very little research has been done on the effects of external memory aids (everything from shopping lists to smartphones), even though humans have been using tools to extend their memories since the time of the earliest cave paintings.
What is the significance of this project?
In today’s age of global information technology, we have the ability to look up whatever information we need, whenever we need it. Smartphones, tablets, notebook computers, Google glasses, and whatever else comes next: we are eager to adopt new technology without truly understanding how such cognitive enhancements may interact with our biological memory. We aim to begin exploring how technological tools affect human memory and wellbeing.
What are the goals of the project?
We plan to use surveys and experiments to find out:
- How are people currently using technology to aid memory in everyday life?
- What are the trade-offs between human memory and external memory aids, and how well do people understand the relative strengths and weaknesses?
- Are there ways to improve the interplay between technology and human memory?