Hey Beans, how you doing? It's Steve. I had to share this with you. I've been very fortunate, in part from some of the students of the previous time I taught the MOOC, I won a teaching award. In fact it's the highest level for teaching in Canada which is kind of heavy, kind of cool and one of the things they did is brought those of us who won, there's about seven of us, and brought us together at beautiful Banff Alberta, Canada, which is just getting into the Rockies, so what you see behind me are the Canadian Rockies, and it's just a gorgeous area. All of us are together, talking about teaching and talking a little bit about you guys, the beans, and other things. So, I thought I'd use this as a nice opportunity to shoot a little side dish video. And I'm going to be taking off one the discussion forums posts about synesthesia which is a really interesting condition that kind of tells us a little bit about memory as well. So here's what synesthesia is. Some people their brains seem to be sort of cross-wired in weird ways so that when they see certain numbers or letters or words, those numbers, letters or words are associated with sounds or tastes or colors. So let's use this as the example we'll kind of talk about. There's a synesthete, that's what we call these people, that's been studied a lot at University of Waterloo by somebody named Phillip Mericle. And Lance Bolick both worked with him quite a bit, and this individual, when you presented them numbers, saw the numbers in very specific colors. So they would say things to you like, if you showed them the number 13, they would say, 13, that's a red, almost pink. And for the rest of us, it's kind of confusing. What do you mean it's a red, almost pink? And they say, well, that's just what it is. If you show me 49 that's a dark blue and every number seems to have a unique color that it literally evokes in their mind and they see that number in a color. And when people hear about this their like I don't know that sounds a little bizarre. So one of the neat things that Marigold and Smellig did with their synesthete, is they had him not just describe these colors but use a tool, like PowerPoint, you can do this in, for example, to mix red, green, and blue on a certain occasion in such a way so that it mimicked the color. So for example, 13, if they said 13 was a reddish-pink, they would mix colors until they made a little patch. And I said yeah, that's the color right there, the reddish-pink. And so they had them do that for a number of different numbers. You know, what colors are associated with these numbers. Then they had them go away, and then they had them come back to the lab again months later and do it again. And the point of that was, you know, if this was real, if they really do see those colors, then they should be able to reproduce them later. because it's the stimulus that's evoking it, not a memory of the stimulus, or a memory of the color. So, they did that, the people came back, they did the task again, and, sure enough, they matched it really, really well. So, we certainly believe, from studies like that, that this is a real phenomenon. Some people taste words. Other people hear faces. I think I heard of someone hearing faces. Okay. So that's kind of interesting in and of itself. But here's the next step, people who have this condition often also have exceptional memory. They can remember details that most of us just don't seem to recall at all. A couple of lessons to be learned from these, and I'll point you to a book by the way, a very old book by the Russian scientist named Luria. The book is called The Mind of the Mnemonist, a Mnemonist being someone who can memorize things really well. And so he talks about this Mnemonist that he meets in his book, and this guy can remember nearly every detail that happens to him in his life. And, this person that he's speaking to is also a steady-state. So he has the sensory mixed things. And there's certainly a good reason to believe these things go together. And, in fact, they can kind of go together for any of us. So one of the things we can learn from this is if we want to remember something well, there's something that we call the duel coding approach or the dual coding hypothesis.Which is if you can let's say a name somebody tells you my name is Frank. Okay if you think of Frank and you try to remember that name okay and you try to remember his name is Frank. But if you think of him looking like a hotdog, like a frankfurter for example. That could help you. If you actually did something silly in your mind, like imagined you licked his hand and he tasted like a hot. Which to a vegetarian is disgusting, but nonetheless, and you formed image that wasn't only the image of licking his hand, which is already kind of weird. But if you included that taste that went with it, and maybe even that sound I just made, [SOUND], [LAUGH], okay? If you put all those things together, when you're thinking about Frank, you're going to have a much easier time remembering his name, the next time you see it. All of those different things can kind of come together to help you ultimately remember his name. This seems to happen naturally. For the syne states. So, that seems to be why they have such a good memory. They have all these hooks into everything that happened. Color, taste, sound, all of these sensory hooks, lines, for lack of a better term. Now here's the other thing to learn from this though. In studies of these people with exceptional memories, and I'll mention another book in a second. Well, I'll mention it now. Moonwalking with Einstein. Moonwalking with Einstein is a book that follows a bunch of people who have worked to develop very good memories. So they've learned all these pneumonic skills including the kinds of things I just told you about. And so there's a whole group of these people that a reporter talks to and learns from and eventually tries their techniques himself. So it's a really cool book. But the moral of that book and the moral of Luria's book is the same. These people with exceptional memories, they do not do particularly well in life. In fact, by and large they seem to be struggling if anything to succeed in a modern world. And so we all think that, wow, we get upset when our memory fails us, and we imagine, well, wouldn't it be great to be able remember everything, or at least everything you wanted to? Well the answer seems to be, not so much. There seems to be a fine trade-off between our ability to remember something. But also our ability to kind of be in the moment and be social beings, and interact with the world in a way. And those people who become very good memorizers seem to lack that social interaction. And it seems, by and large. That that seems to be beneficial to us more in life than the ability to memorize a lot of things. So, there's a wide scoop of a side dish, hitting synesthesia, talking a little bit about mnemonic strategies and memory, and the interaction between memory and sort of success in life. All right, cool. There's the Rockies again. Wow, eh? Isn't that gorgeous? All right, see you later Beans. Bye-bye.