Can’t remember something? Close your eyes

Flickr

Closing your eyes when recalling an event can help you remember sights and sounds more accurately, according to a study at the University of Surrey in the U.K.  The researchers also said that if you also know the person asking you questions about an event, your recall is often better.

For the study, published in Legal and Criminological Psychology, scientists showed 178 participants a film of an electrician stealing from a house after completing a job. Four different groups were then asked 17 questions to recall what happened: those with eyes open, eyes shut, those who had a friendly introduction with the interviewer and those who didn’t.

Groups with eyes closed or a friendly rapport with the interviewer answered three quarter of the questions correctly. The other two groups were able to answer only 41 percent of the questions right. Similar results were seen in a second test, where volunteers were asked what they remembered hearing in a mock crime scene.

Even if you don’t have a relationship with a person questioning you, the researchers said that just closing your eyes can have a big impact on memory.  They said that these techniques could help police when they're questioning witnesses about a crime.

Sourced from: BBC News Health, Memory Recall ‘better when eyes shut’