06/17/2014 07:49 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Unusual Downside Of Using Your Imagination

Memory is an incredible tool. From nostalgic thoughts to little details, our brains have the power to recall the most poignant and defining moments -- but are all of our recollections accurate?

According to Harvard psychologist Daniel Schacter, the brain has the capacity to remember many things, including events that never actually happened. And self-help methods from the past may be part of the problem.

In the Brainwave video above, Schacter explains that while therapy can be an insightful and healing tool, techniques once used to help sort through traumatic experiences may have implored the mind to invent alternate realities. Giving people free range to their imaginations during these sessions can "have the potential to create false memories," Schacter says in the video.

Check out the full clip above for more on how the brain selects and processes moments in time.

mark schacter

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