memories pieced together

Memories are more like pieced-together pictures than accurate snapshots. … The brain generally remembers the gist of what happens, then fills in the rest—sometimes inaccurately

Did you know that memories that we have are often like piece-together-pictures than accurate photographic information? In the same token, recalling a skill requires you to return to the state of mind or environment in which it was originally acquired.

Memory is more like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle than a photograph. To recollect a past event, we piece together various remembered elements and typically forget parts of what happened (the color of the wall, the picture in the background, the exact words that were said). Passing over details helps us to form general concepts. We are good at remembering the gist of what happened and less good at remembering (photographically) all the elements of a past scene. This is advantageous because what is important for memory is the meaning of what was presented, not the exact details present at any given time.

” Is photographic memory real? If so, how does it work? ” by Professor Larry Squire