Close Your Eyes to Improve Memory

Close Your Eyes to Improve MemoryClose Your Eyes to Improve Memory

A new study points to closing your eyes “as a means to improve event recall.”

Scientists tested several people’s ability to remember specific details of films which depicted fake crime scenes. Volunteers were then asked questions, and instructed to either close their eyes or to keep them open while they tried to remember the details.

“The mechanisms we identified ought to apply to other contexts, for example, trying to remember details of a lecture,” explains Dr. Robert Nash, from the University of Surrey. “It is clear from our research that closing the eyes and building rapport help with witness recall,” the lead study author said. Although closing your eyes to remember seems to work whether or not rapport has been built beforehand, our results show that building rapport makes witnesses more at ease with closing their eyes. That in itself is vital if we are to encourage witnesses to use this helpful technique during interviews.”

 Removes Distraction

“Our data and other data before us points towards eye closure helping because it removes distraction,” he said, reports

He goes on to say, “Closing your eyes might also help people visualize the details of the event they are trying to remember, but our second experiment suggests keeping your eyes shut can help focus on audio information too.”

Prof. Tim Hollins of Plymouth University, was not involved in the study, but said: “This adds to the growing body of research that eye closure might be a useful technique that police may want to use.”

The other nice thing about this piece of work is that they have looked at rapport building too. “This data shows the benefit of eye closure and rapport building added together rather than cancelling each other out as some people previously feared.”