Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

Learning how memory works

My twin brother Jacob and I volunteered to participate in the memory and self-care study conducted by Nancy Pike, Ph.D. from UCLA.The study required a memory test and the completion of a detailed questionnaire, which took 80 minutes for each of us.

Although my brother and I were each compensated a $30 Target gift card, we were eager to volunteer because we value service.

The study was interesting; it made me reflect on how my mind works and how memory functions.

In one test, research assistant Dylan Faire verbally listed 10 random items such as river, nail, hair, etc. After 25 minutes or so of other testing he asked me if I remembered that list. I had completely forgotten about it because I did not think we would return to that test. But I ultimately remembered six things out of the list.

I was fascinated by how fast my memory worked in some of the tests and even Jacob thought they were beneficial because they showed “how we make so many connections through our brain, like when we re-told a story back to our instructor or were shown pictures of geometric figures for 30 seconds and then we had to re-draw that image. It gave me an idea of the endurance of memory.”

I hope I remember what he said, because I agree with his observations, which is not too surprising … after all, we are twins.

-Jessica Mijares