According to the news of Science Alert, in experiments led by scientists from the University of Amsterdam, it was determined that when 534 people participating in the research were shown the real and mirrored (C and Ɔ) shapes of the Latin letters, people were prone to remember the reflection letter in its real form.
In the study, after some participants were shown random letters to confuse their memory, all participants were asked to say the first letter shown again.
It was noted in the research that almost 20 percent of the participants produced a false memory about the desired letter about half a second after the first letter was shown, and this amount increased to 30 percent after 3 seconds.
The study found that people were more likely to remember the mirrored letter as a real letter in the blink of an eye when shown to participants the projected letter.
Experts noted that the human brain replaces memories with “false memories” based on what it expects to see, and that because of the participants’ familiarity with the Latin letters, their brains expected to see the letters shown in their normal written form rather than in their projected form.
In the experiments, after randomly shown plain and mirrored letters, participants were asked how confident they were in their memories on a scale of 1 to 4.
Participants indicated that they were confident in their answers. Thus, it was ensured that the participants’ answers were actually “false memories”, not false guesses.
The authors of the study pointed out that “short-term memory may not always be an accurate representation of what was just perceived” and that “memory is actually shaped by what we expect to see.”
The research was published in the journal “PLOS One”.