Long-term memories and vivid fear memories in INFJs? | INFJ Forum

Long-term memories and vivid fear memories in INFJs?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Serendipity, Aug 22, 2009.

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  1. Serendipity

    Serendipity Regular Poster

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    I origionally posted this in another thread, but now I'm kind of curious about the opinons of a broader population than in one thread. So without further ado...

    I'm a neuropsych researcher, and with some simple deducing (and confirmation from Von Hase), I've concluded that INFJs may likely have more heightened electrical activity in the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system is mainly composed of the cingulate gyrus, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. Together, these areas mainly contribute to learning, memory, and emotion. My area of focus here though, is the amygdala.

    The amygdala mainly controls emotions, fear responses/memories, and "gut feelings". People with heightened amygdalar activity are known to have social phobias (sound familiar?) Now, when something really bad happens to you, because the amygdala is so small, it will take kind of a "flash-bulb" memory. This is a small and undetailed, yet VIVID memory and they are meant for our survival. That's why if you see a garden hose and jump because you think it's a snake at first, that's your amygdala initiating a fear response with a flash-bulb memory of a snake that you may have seen in the past. These memories are the hardest to get rid of because they are there to warn us not to run into the same problem (If anything though, do NOT keep retreaving these memories if you can help it. Every time you do, you're releasing cortisol into your bloodstream, a stress hormone that will make you sick over time. A typical situation for INFJs. Sometimes, there just nothing like a little bit of healthy repression. At LEAST until the intense crappy feeling goes away :)).

    The hippocampus, on the other hand, is involved in emotion as well as learning and spacial navigation. But we are starting to learn that this is where our long term memories are consolidated after they've been rehearsed enough times in our prefrontal cortex. Though the connections may get muddied over time the less we access these memories, these memories will always be stored.

    I think that we may have more electrically active limbic systems in part due to the fact that it's just where our dopanine and serotonin receptors seem to cross. But I'l have to look into that a little more.


    Wow, sorry, long boring rant. SO... my question is, do INFJs typically report having good long-term memories and/or vivid fear memories? Because neurophysiologically speaking, if my deductions are correct, than they would suggest that we do. And I haven't been able to find information on this elsewhere. Personally, I have an unusually good long-term memory, and I think I have a couple good examples of some flsh-bulb memories as well.

    You're thoughts?! (sorry for the tangent. I think I seriously need some time off of work)
     
    #1 Serendipity, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
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  2. Wyote

    Wyote Dad of the Ded
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    Yep. I scare people with it, and it's actually irritating sometimes because I will explain something from a long time ago in great detail and people will just respond with "oh" or "yea... I remember... sort of" and it makes me sad that I can't share it fully. What I mean by "great detail" isn't specific details of the memory, just the idea and feeling of it is very accurate.

    The vivid fear memory is interesting too. I'm all kinds of jumpy sometimes. I'm probably lacking cortisol though haha I'm a fatty.
     
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    #2 Wyote, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  3. slant

    slant Ruboobie

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    I think so. An INFJ I know has severe social aniexty due to some past memories that are quite vivid to him while trying to interact with people.
     
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  4. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I have a good long term memory (better than my short-term, anyways), but it's not vivid or detailed unless there's some sort of significant thing that has happen. Otherwise, I remember, but I can't "see" it. I do have very detailed pieces, though, and I think fear does create memories like that in me, as well as strong emotions like joy and wonder.
     
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  5. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    My short term is ridiculously horrific...but my long term is very vivid and painful...

    I still remember with vivid clarity the dream I had when I was ten that sent me to therapy for years...

    I still remember the vision of my dead fiance floating over me one night with pin point accuracy..

    I still remember the first time I held my baby...

    I still remember her first ER trip...

    I still remember my most painful beatings as a child...but ask me something i did yesterday and I will draw a blank!
     
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  6. IndigoSensor

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    I find this really intriguing. I am a chemistry major and I am really facinated by brain chemistry, and the way chemicals causes interactions and physical responses. I agree with what you said, it does seem to explain things. I have always figured my brain chemistry is very odd, and this sort of confirms it for me.

    As far as the way my memory works; my long term memory is extremely well developed. I remember snipped of coversations back from when I was in a stroller, I also remember the images I saw, and the emotions I felt. I have always surprized my friends and families with the memories I can call on, and with the specefics I can call on with them. I can't really explain it, but my long term memory is just really well developed. If I tell myself to log something into long term memory, it will usually stick. It seems though that random things (no matter how insignifigant) will place themselves in long term memory and they are usually the strongest.

    My shortterm memory is ok. I forget things within a very short window, but after a certian time period it will stick. I almost never forget apointments either. I actually will forget them up until the day of or the day before (even if they were planned months in advance), and I will suddenly remember it out of nowhere, and nothing apparent tripped it either.
     
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  7. OP
    Serendipity

    Serendipity Regular Poster

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    Yea, I have a terrible short-term memory too. Short-term memories are consolidated in the front of the brain, which is not part of the limbic system. Think of it as a temporary storage system. Unless you rehearse these memories based on just how interesting you find them, they won't get sent to the lymbic system. Instead, they'll likely get thrown away to save space.
     
    #7 Serendipity, Aug 22, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  8. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    Short-term memory for me is pretty horrible. I need lots of sleep and no stress to seem normal in this respect.

    Long-term memory for academics or facts is excellent. Long-term memory for events and experiences tends to be poor. But I also suspect subconscious repression in myself. When I change environments (like when I move) I find I forget the names, faces, & experiences of many friends/acquintances in my prior environment. I also remember rather clearly some pretty scary dreams I had as a kid.

    EDIT: I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that NF's tend to have better long-term memory (being abstract people) and ST's tend to have better short-term memory (being more concrete people). At least, that's the trend I'm sensing so far.
     
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  9. sassafras

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    My long-term memory is awesome. I remember the most obscure, peculiar little details with scary vividness. My short term memory, on the other hand, is like a gold fish. I get distracted very easily, and I'm very spacey; I'm rarely focused. I don't know how all that factors into having a strong long-term memory.

    While I don't have trouble with socializing, or with people in general, I do suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. The smallest things will set me off. I betcha it does come from the super powered imagination of mine too.

    Interesting theory.
     
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  10. daydreamer

    daydreamer Permanent Fixture

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    your a neuropscyh? That's so cool :) Anyway, yeah, I think you're right. When someone has emotionally hurt me really bad, that memory will pretty much always be there.
     
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  11. Vegscara

    Vegscara Regular Poster

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    I find that I have aterrific long term memory as well. And the "flash-bulb" thing yoou said seems to occur with me as well. you might be on to somthing.
     
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  12. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    I can so deeply relate to that experience of memory. Bless you for sharing.
     
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  13. rainrise

    rainrise Community Member

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    my long term memory is like a reservoir i leave alone unless i am carried into it by a current of significant association with the present to the past. once in, it is difficult to get out and usually these triggers are spontaneous, like an undercurrent i am not prepared to swept by.
    my long term memory carries with it deep pain throughout my childhood and early teenage years and casts an ominous feel over even the most wonderful memories from that time. the pain has immense momentum, but i have come to slowly acknowledge it with acceptance rather than blame. it is an ongoing process that becomes easier with each progressing moment.

    my short term memory, especially in remembering particulars/detail, is terrible unless there is something pressing or significant to remember.
     
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  14. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    Both my short and long term memory are horrible. However, when I encounter something that seems familiar it's like I transport into that place and time so vividly. If you ask me how to fix something in a car without having the actual car in front of me I won't remember anything at all but if I have it in front of me I know step-by-step what to do exactly.

    If I had experienced a traumatic event it usually stays with me forever but only unconciously. For example, when I was about six I was attacked by a swarm of bees and was really sick in the hospital. That memory will only be brought back to life when I actually see a bee in front of me or see something that resembles what happened that day.

    As for my short term memory I have lots of trouble with it. That's why I keep a journal/diary of what happened to me during the day.

    Anyways, that's a really interesting observation serendipity. Pretty cool!
     
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  15. Billy

    Billy Contents Under Pressure
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    My long term memory and retention is excellent. I can remember nearly everything from the age of 4 forward.
     
  16. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    You must have eaten those fruits and veggies when you were a kid :D
     
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  17. dream_child

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    My first memory is when I was almost two. It's from when I was left with the neighbors while my dad took my mom to the hospital, she was in labor with my brother. I only know that because my mom recognized what I described. I remember all these new toys, hehe :)

    I remember everything. Very vividly, too. I remember things from childhood in the same detail and clarity as I do things from yesterday. Some friends actually call me their memory.
     
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  18. Billy

    Billy Contents Under Pressure
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    Not really, but for whatever reason I can just remember. I swear I can remember my 1st linear memory and forward, its weird.
     
  19. daydreamer

    daydreamer Permanent Fixture

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    I remember on my third birthday running around.
     
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  20. dream_child

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    dude, i feel exactly the same way!
     
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