Eyes closed recall

When do you close your eyes? Yes, there is that blessed moment at the end of a harried, emotion charged day when your head nestles into the pillow and your eyes close against the world that presses against your senses but when else? Maybe you close your eyes in the vain hope that your partner won’t be wearing those ridiculous pants when you open them again? Possibly you close your eyes in the charming but absurd belief that doing so will lessen the sting of the needle? Whether you do any of this eye closing or not a new study may persuade you to close those sky-blues or earthy-browns if you want to give your memory a boost.

The study was done by researchers investigating how closing the eyes might impact the memory of eye witnesses to crimes. To do this they had subjects watch a film that showed an electrician entering a property, doing some jobs but also stealing some items. The subjects were then randomly assigned to either close their eyes while recalling what they had seen or keep their eyes open. For each of these groups half of the subjects established a rapport with their interviewer while the other did not.

The results showed that closing their eyes resulted in people answering 23 per cent more of the questions correctly regardless of whether they had built up rapport.

In a second experiment subjects were asked to recall things they had heard as well as seen after watching a reconstruction of a home burglary and assault. Closing the eyes helped recall of both visual and auditory details.

It seems that as far as your memory goes it is a good idea to go into things with eyes wide shut.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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