Context-Dependent Memory

Jon Udell recently wrote about his experiences with context-dependent memory associated with his podcast listening while bike riding. He explains it thusly.

I’ve noticed a weird synaesthesia effect. When I first listened to Jim Gray’s discussion of asynchrony I was at mile 23 of this route. When I listened to it again and transcribed the quote for my blog, I saw that landscape again. It works the other way too. If I repeat a route, I remember what I heard along the way.

I’m glad to know that someone else has experienced this, and in particular, in association with podcast listening. It happens to me all the time too. So the world I walk in has now become the index for audible information that my brain has stored. Jon concludes:

I can’t decide what’s more strange or wonderful: the fact that I have an URL that points to mile 23 of that route, or the fact that an important idea from Jim Gray is waiting for me when I get there.

That’s a pretty damn cool thought. Thanks Jon!

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