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State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 1
posted: 08/12/09

i want mine.

I started racing bikes in the '80s. At that time, like most teenagers, I listened to - and watched - tons of music. MTV was huge. This was back when MTV actually played videos. Some kids had "parenting." I had MTV.

Most of the music I remember from the era I can still associate with a video on MTV. Again, forgotten era. And a lot of the music I can't remember from the era: I can still associate with a video.

I stopped racing bikes in the '90s.

I started racing bikes again in 2007.

When I was racing bikes in the '80s and early-'90s, I put in a lot of miles, most of them hurty. I didn't need a Walkman for these rides. I had a constant mental feed of the tunes of the day, in video form, in my head. There wasn't a ride where I didn't flash to Iron Maiden's "Run for the Hills," whether I liked it or not. Always on. I'd be out there in the middle of nowhere, abusing myself into some headwind, with The Scorpions, OMD, April Wine and ABC for company. Joy.

When I started riding again a few years ago, something very, very curious started to happen on the rides. I'd start to hear, and in many cases see, tunes from the '80s in my head. These were tunes I frequently hadn't heard in 20+ years. These were tunes I very frequently didn't even like. But the previous exposure to them... did something to me. Constant soundtrack. Revisited. We're talking stuff like this. And this. And, heaven forbid, this.

I can't say it was always enjoyable to be doing an interval session and hear some of this stuff. But it was for sure curious.

I explained what had been happening to a family friend who also happens to be a doctor. He told me that what I was experiencing was something loosely referred to as State-Dependent Learning, aka State-Learned Memory. In a nutshell, you remember stuff (or learn things) within an altered state and you recall them [only] within that state. My doctor friend says it happens to him when he gets stoned ("Scalpel..."). In my case, the state happens to be pain, on the bike, something I experienced a lot in the '80s and early-'90s. And in my case, the thing recalled happens to be mostly cheesy music videos from the '80s and early-'90s while I'm out on the road dealing with lactate and such.

It's still happening. Out of nowhere. During this morning's ride, this was on.

Because I'm honestly sorta fascinated with this whole thing, and also because I love yakking about meaningless, self-reverential trivia, I'm going to start posting the videos that show up in my head. I'm not going to go for cool stuff. Just the stuff that autoplays in my cranial cavity on my rides.

This is Volume One. Try to contain yourself while you wait for the next installment. I'll probably do at least two.

You'll be wearing checkered Vans and parachute pants before you know it.

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»Whinge Archives

»Back to Whinge

January 2011
»The Skinny

April 2010
»My Gift to You

October 2009
»The Last Coffee Ride

September 2009
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 19
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 18
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 17
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 16
»State-Dependent Memory, RWE

August 2009
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 15
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 14
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 13
»State-Dependent Memory, Vols. 10-12
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 9
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 8
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 7
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 6
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 5
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 4
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 3
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 2
»State-Dependent Memory, Vol. 1
»Nobody Blogs Anymore

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Last updated, fixified, or otherwise jiggered: 08/12/09.