Using Memory Engineering to Aid Learning Retention

Recently I was re-reading my first-ever post for this blog, based on an article in Wired magazine entitled “Clive Thompson on Memory Engineering." The gist of it was that a (then) new service called 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo would summarize and email your Foursquare “check-ins” from a year before, resulting in, as Thompson calls it, “a curiously powerful daily jolt of reminiscence.”

At the time, I found this interesting as a jumping-off point for thinking about how “memory engineering” could be leveraged to increase retention of content learned in the workplace.

Well, times have changed. Today, you can open a number of social media applications and see what you were thinking and doing in years past. But calling it “memory engineering” has never caught on. In fact, today memory engineering is being studied in its most literal (and terrifying) sense: the manipulation of memory through suppression, or even the creation of false memory.

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