Scientists warn ubiquitous photography harms memory formation
Scientists are warning of an emerging ‘impairment’ effect amongst avid photographers in their ability to form memories after completing new research in the area. A study conducted by Fairfield University, Connecticut, found that individuals, who habitually record important moments of their lives by snapping pictures, rather than concentrating on the events themselves, were left with fuzzier memories. Describing this ‘photo-taking impairment effect’ Dr Linda Henkel said; “People so often whip out their cameras almost mindlessly to capture a moment, to the point that they are missing what is happening right in front of them. "When people rely on technology to remember for them - counting on the camera to record the event and thus not needing to attend to it fully themselves - it can have a negative impact on how well they remember their experiences." Henkel arrived at her findings after instructing two groups of students to browse a local museum, with one group photographing the displays and the other eyeballing them. A memory test the next day found that those students who’d photographed the objects had a weaker recall of what they had seen than those who did not.