Remembering the details of events seems easy enough. You'd think that when important things happen, we'd just think about them enough and the memory would sink in. Unfortunately, we still forget all kinds of things, but BBC points out that replaying a scene in your head immediately after it happens can help reinforce it. Photo by Creative Ignition.
This might sound like common sense mixed with a bit of what we already know about memory, but research from the University of Sussex gives a bit more of a "how to" angle to remembering events. Using a series of clips on YouTube, researchers asked participants to replay the scene in their mind and describe it to themselves after watching the video, while another set of participants just moved on to another video. They found replaying that scene really helped in remembering the video, and brain scans seemed to reflect that as well. It was a small study, but it echoes a lot of what we know about how creating stories helps us remember.
So, the lesson here? If you really want to make sure an event sticks in your mind, take some time to describe it to yourself like you would if you were telling a friend a story. Pick out the most vivid details and run with it. Chances are, you'll have better recall down the line.
Consolidation of Complex Events via reinstatement in Posterior Cingulate Cortex [The Journal of Neuroscience via BBC]