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Flash Bulb Memory On December 23 1972 one of the most memorable games in the history of the National Football League took place at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania The Pittsburgh Steelers were playing the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship Game The score was 7-6 in favor of the Raiders then something extraordinary happened Steeler quarterback Terry Bradshaw dropped back to pass with thirteen seconds remaining in the fourth quarter The intended receiver was Frenchy Fequa Fequa collided with one of the safeties from the Raiders and the ball was deflected Steelers running back Franco Harris rescued the ball before it hit the ground and scampered 60 yards for a Steeler touchdown and earned the Steelers a spot in the Super Bowl If you were to ask any Steeler fan where they were when the immaculate reception took place they would probably be able to tell you exactly where they were and who they were with This is an example of the psychological phenomenon of flashbulb memory Flashbulb memory is a clear memory of a significant moment or an event I think that flashbulb memories occur because the events that happen are often so unpredictable Since they were so unexpected and bring up so many different emotions it seems that the enviroment around us is permanently burned into our memories We remember exactly whom we were with what we were wearing our initial reaction words spoken by friends and even the smells associated with the environment Flashbulb memory is still debated among some of the most intelligent neuropsychologists today The debate centers on whether these memories are encoded into the brain From a superficial overview of some Internet sites and book reviews it seems that evidence is split down the middle for and against the encoding view Although these neuropsychologist still debate the relevance of their finds one fact remains true we all have flashbulb memories To further illustrate this psychological
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