Step away from your cameraphone: “Constantly taking photos stops brain from remembering vital moments”


From your friends’ birthdays to that  long-awaited family holiday, we all want  to remember those cherished moments with a photograph.

But if you’re one of those people who can’t stop snapping, beware – you could end up forgetting it all in a flash.

A study has found that taking too many photos may prevent us from forming detailed memories.

Far from helping us to capture the moment, it could mean we miss what’s going on right in front of our noses.

Researchers led a group of students around a museum and asked them to either photograph or try to remember certain works of art and historical exhibits.

The next day, their memory was tested. It showed they were worse at recognising objects they had photographed than those they had only looked at. They were also poorer at recalling details of the objects they had taken pictures of.

Dr Linda Henkel, who conducted the study at Fairfield University in Connecticut, said: ‘People so often whip out their cameras almost mindlessly.

When people rely on technology to remember for them, it can have a negative impact on how well they remember their experiences.’

Previous studies have suggested that reviewing old photos can help us remember, but only if we spend long enough doing it.

‘In order to remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them,’ said Dr Henkel.

The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

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