Good Memory Day is observed on January 19 every year, to cherish good moments from our past and present while making new ones for the future. On this holiday, we love to scroll through old photo albums and share a good laugh over a funny memory. As the name suggests, this day is also the perfect occasion to test how good your memory is. Come up with a memory game based on major childhood events and have a memorable day. Plan a fun day out with your family, or make that pending call to your best friend today.
History of Good Memory Day
Human memory has been a topic of study since the time of Aristotle. The earliest attempts to understand memory are found in Aristotle’s treatise, “On the Soul.” He was the first individual to compare the human mind to a blank slate and advocated that human beings are a total of their experiences. Later, English empiricist John Locke popularized this idea and coined the term ‘tabula rasa.’ In the mid-1880s, German philosopher Herman Ebbinghaus studied memory from a scientific point of view. He conducted several experiments, using lists of nonsense syllables to form meaningful words. Based on his work, he classified memory into three types: sensory, short-term, and long-term. Ebbinghaus is also behind the concepts of the learning curve and forgetting curve.
In 1904, Richard Semon proposed the idea that human experience leaves a physical trace on our brain’s neurons. This is called an engram or memory trace. American psychologist Karl Lashley experimented on rats in mazes to find out that memories are scattered all across the brain. According to a recent study, the brain goes through three processes: encoding, storage, and retrieval. For our brain to recall memories, these processes must work in sync. Although the human brain is capable of developing memories right in the womb, most people can’t trace childhood memories before the age of three or four. But that’s okay! After all, don’t we all get a little forgetful now and then?
Good Memory Day is here to remind you of all the beautiful moments from your past and gives you the opportunity to create more for the coming times. In the meantime, do not forget to acknowledge and show compassion to those who struggle with their memory.
Good Memory Day timeline
One of the pioneers of the study of human anatomy, Julius Caesar Arantius, discovers the hippocampus, a complex brain structure that is involved in memory formation.
Herman Ebbinghaus develops a scientific approach to studying memory.
The concept of memory is explored, and path-breaking standpoints are put forth by researchers George Miller, Ulric Neisser, George Sperling, Karl Pribram, and Eugene Galanter, giving rise to the ‘cognitive revolution.’
Scientists like David Rumelhart, Geoffrey Hinton, James McClelland, Jerome Raaijmaker, Richard Shiffrin, and others develop formal models of memory for computer simulation.
Good Memory Day FAQs
Is childhood amnesia real?
Yes, it’s quite common for people to not remember events before the age of two. This happens due to a lag in neurological development — the brain structures required to create stories usually don’t mature before that age. Hence, a lot of us experience infantile or childhood amnesia.
What is the best way to improve memory?
Meditation is one of the best ways to focus your mind, and thus, improve your ability to remember things, but there isn’t one certified way to improve memory. Some people also maintain diets that include memory-boosting ingredients such as blueberries, fatty fish, turmeric, nuts, dark chocolate, and broccoli, to name a few.
Why do people turn forgetful with age?
With age, proteins and hormones that stimulate brain cells tend to decline. In other cases, aged people experience a decreased flow of blood that can impair memory power.
Good Memory Day Activities
Revisit old memories
Don’t we all have memorable childhood photographs with our cousins and neighbors? Find one such picture, and recreate the good old days.
Prepare a memory-boosting meal
Some foods are known to improve our memory power, such as blueberries, dark chocolate, fatty fish, coffee, broccoli, etc. Make this holiday special by whipping up a memory booster meal. A blueberry cupcake or a tuna sandwich sounds great!
Capture happy moments
This is for all you shutterbugs out there! Don’t let your happy moments slip by without capturing them through your lenses. Share them on social media with the hashtag #GoodMemoryDay.
5 Facts About Memory That You Didn’t Know
There is virtually no limit to how much the brain can remember because it has a capacity of almost 2.5 petabytes of data.
Rest is a must
A good night’s sleep helps our brain function better and remember things more efficiently.
How much is too much?
Our brain has over a billion neurons, each of which is capable of creating 1,000 connections with other neurons.
Our brain has a complex structure called the hippocampus that plays a key role in preserving our memories for a long time.
Blame the doorway
The act of walking through a door sends a signal to the brain that we’ve entered a new space and it should put aside prior memories, which is what causes the common phenomenon of short-term memory lapses when we enter a new room to do something.
Why We Love Good Memory Day
A day to cherish old memories
Good Memory Day takes us down memory lane to relive memories close to our hearts. We get to remember the good times, bask in the nostalgia, and learn from the mistakes of the bad times too.
Reunions and get-togethers
It's the perfect chance to create good memories for the future by meeting your old buddies and loved ones from your family. It's the perfect excuse for a grand get-together.
Not everyone is as fortunate as us when it comes to remembering past events. Good Memory Day is the right occasion to contribute or be a part of organizations that support people with various forms of dementia.
Good Memory Day dates