<trp-post-container data-trp-post-id='27226'>Remembrances and memory contextual

Who hasn't had the experience of bumping into someone at a business party? "that we know but you can't place his name or position; and when a mutual friend reveals his identity to you, you say to yourself: "How could I forget?.

Our long-term memory - the one that stores the information we need day after day - registers differently what is the result of a single event. learning - stored in the semantic memory - and what results from our experience - a gigantic sum of organized facts in our lives. episodic memory.

Semantic and procedural memory are known as declarative memory - or declarative memory. explicit because we can more or less easily express its content - unlike procedural memory - also known asimplicit - which contains what we know how to do, without always being able to say how we do it: everyday language refers to mechanical actions.

Our working memory - constantly fed by a continuous flow of sensory information: what we see, hear, smell, etc. - will draw on long-term memory for data relevant to our daily lives ... but differently depending on whether the data is semantic or episodic.

" 4 + 4 = 8 " or "Marignan 1515 are the result of a long learning process: such information is quickly and, more or less, easily accessible in our semantic memory; without it, there would be no mental arithmetic!

Episodic knowledge is both much broader - it refers to our entire life experience - and therefore more complex to organise: our brain is not like a gigantic computer hard drive where nothing gets lost, with its precise repertoire.

Certain important elements appear to be extremely accessible: those that are generally described as significant - this is known as factual memory.

But most are organised in a more diffuse way: they "cohabit in the same area (this is, of course, an image) because they share a number of characteristics: people working in the same profession as us in one area, people living in our neighbourhood in another, and so on.

In short, there are so many different contexts within which our various relationships, our actions, the events we have lived through, etc., take place. We speak of contextual memory.

Which explains the inconvenience mentioned at the beginning of this article: if we - well, our brain - don't search in the right context ... it's impossible to retrieve anything relevant ... and hence our inability to put a name to a face!

We enter a context through an image, a detail, sometimes a tiny one: a memory trace - it could be just a smell, a taste, a sound; and from this trace we reconstruct the entirety of the corresponding memory or memories ... a bit like Marcel Proust rediscovering the memory of the madeleines from his childhood:

"But at the very moment when the sip mixed with the crumbs of the cake touched my palate, I shuddered, attentive to the extraordinary thing that was happening inside me [...] And suddenly the memory came to me. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine that on Sunday mornings in Combray [...] my Aunt Léonie would offer me after dipping it in her tea or linden infusion".

Of course, marketing research must take these processes into account, not only to increase the richness of the results - by activating the right context, we obtain a wealth of details - but above all for their relevance: consumers who do not "find nothing to say will tend to invent.

We'll take a closer look at this implementation in a forthcoming paper.

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