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    Memory is a tricky (insert favorite expletive here). When I was a kid I used to crawl through secret passages in our house. There was a fire place in the backroom that I was able to get behind and I’d climb to the second floor.

    There’s only one problem with that memory. There was no backroom fireplace, nor were there any secret passages.

    I’m gonna put the way-back machine to really early childhood memories, like cooking cinnamon rolls with my mom when I was two, or tiptoeing so I could use the big boy urinal. In these memories I see myself as a kid doing the actions in kind of an out of body style, but I also see it in first person.

    This is because memory is like a VHS tape and every time you access the memory you also kind of re-record the memory on top of it, and each time it changes a little or sometimes a lot.

     

     

    In the case of the secret passage memory I have a vivid imagination and vivid dreams. Somehow I just pushed one into long term memory as if it actually happened.

    Another way memory plays tricks on us is with a thing called a schema. Schema? What the hell is a schema?

    Think of it like a schematic or blueprint that tells you what you might find in any given situation. For instance when you go out to eat, the server will come to your table, take your order, bring you food and then a check. What do you think of when I say office? A chair, a desk, a file cabinet, a monkey… okay maybe your office doesn’t have a desk. It turns out that if shown a picture of an office missing one of these components; it’s very likely that you will remember the missing component.

    A test was done where a group of participants were shown a picture of an office, then after a period of delay they were asked what they remembered. The majority of the participants recalled objects that were not in the photo, yet were typically a part of the aforementioned schema.

    Implanting memories is a pretty wild possibility. There was a trial in ‘85 that sentenced a teacher to prison even though there was no physical evidence of foul play whatsoever. The crux was that the preschoolers under interrogation confessed to a barrage of abuse. The judgment was overturned five years later. As a result, a scientific study was done on participating children (Ceci 1995).

    In the study, each child was asked if they remember the time they got their finger caught in a mousetrap (this was first confirmed with parents that it never actually happened). They were told once a week for ten weeks.  When asked after the ten weeks were up if they remembered the event taking place, over half the children produced really complex stories about the make believe event as though it really happened.

    *author’s note: If I ever have kids, they are going to go to the moon, fighting pirates on a pirate ship, discovering the land of giant bunny rabbits, scuba diving the great reef, riding a blue whale, eating a picnic on the clouds and getting shot out of a volcano only to land in a sea of marshmallows. The idea is so crazy… just implant the memories. So much cheaper than an actual vacation. This totally reminds me of Total Recall.

     

     

    A similar study was done on adults (Loftus 1997). Participants were read four stories about their childhood, 3 real and 1 fake. Their recall of the real events was 68%, and their recall of the false event was 25%.

    Wild

    Kinda gets you thinking about what is real and what’s not.

    I think I’m going to implant some memories for myself. I always wanted to check out Puerto Rico… no wait I have been there… hahaha yes! It worked!

     

    I guess I should talk about wine. I mean this is a wine blog after all.

    Let’s talk cheap..

    I just had a bottle of Barefoot Extra Dry Sparkling that set me back $6.99, and it was really good for the price.

     

     

    Barefoot Bubbly Extra Dry NV

    The wine has great acidity, ripe golden delicious apples with a touch of granny smith, persistent bubbles and a lengthy finish. Killer for the price.

    While on the topic of bubbles, Piper Sonoma is delectable for the low price of $12.99

     

    Piper Sonoma Brut Select Cuvee NV

    87 PTS WINE SPECTATOR

    “The Piper Sonoma Select Cuvee Brut is crisp and creamy, with floral jasmine and citrus aromas and appealing green apple, anise and mineral flavors that linger; zesty finish.”

     

    I had a glass or two of a wickedly good Grenache/Syrah/Mouvedre blend last night. Blew me away for $21.

     

     

    Tower 15 “The Jetty” 2010

    This wine was incredibly light for a Paso Robles wine, and incredibly complex! Classic Southern Rhone Valley blend, this wine was loaded with cherry, violets, blackberry, sage and earth.

     

    Oh hey… remember when you went wine tasting and your friend fell in the Koi pond?

     

    Good times.