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Why Can’t I Remember My Accident?

CrowdScience goes hunting for lost memories.

When CrowdScience listener, Grady, crashed violently on his motorbike in the desert, he thought he was going to die. Years later he still can’t remember the dramatic seconds just before the impact. Where did the memory disappear to? Did the hard hit to the head knock his memories out or are they still in his brain somewhere? CrowdScience turns to brain science to find out if those last few seconds are lost for good or if the brain tells a different story.

Under normal circumstances our brains like to hold onto memories that are emotionally important to us. We can remember our wedding day but not yesterday’s breakfast. But scientists have discovered that during near-death experiences, our brains are flooded with chemicals that disrupt our ability to remember. Grady may never recall how he was able to keep his motorbike steady as he drove off the road because – maybe – the memory was never created in the first place.

Presenter: Marnie Chesterton
Producers: Melanie Brown and Louisa Field
Sound design: Eleni Hassabis

(Image: A biker helmet lies on street near to a motorcycle accident. Credit: Getty Images)

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27 minutes

Last on

Mon 21 Jan 2019 18:32GMT

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