Over the years, I've come across studies (e.g., here, here, and here), and have watched documentaries (similar to this), that speak about memory retrieval, and how that, every time you recall a memory, that memory is subject to being distorted (less accurate). Of the different types of memory, it seems that this is most often spoken about when episodic memory is involved.

In pretty much every situation I've seen, the person with the memory is trying their best to most accurately recall that memory, with respect to the true event(s) that was originally experienced. However, would it be possible to intentionally cause memory distortion, perhaps by continuously recalling a memory and then deliberately thinking of false information? Or, can this process only happen subconsciously?

There is a movie that somewhat plays on this idea, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In this movie, a participant is alseep while wearing a kind of helmet that selectively targets and erases desired-to-be-forgotten memories. And though my initial curiosity did not arise from seeing this movie, and yes, I am aware that this movie is sci-fi, I do still wonder if this kind of overall effect could be achieved without technological/medical intervention. If not, why?

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Aug 13 '17 at 19:00

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