Do you remember Mayim Bialik on “Blossom?” She currently plays Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory” and is the author of the new book “Girling Up.” The actress, who is also a neuroscientist, explains what’s going on in our brains when we get nostalgic for things like shows we loved as kids — like her popular ’90s sitcom.
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Following is a transcript of the video:
My name is Mayim Bialik, and I play Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory.”
I’m often recognized for my role in “Blossom,” the ’90s sitcom where I was playing the lead character from the years that I was 14 to 19.
And there actually is kind of a neuroscience reason why we are nostalgic for things. Obviously our brains store everything we experience as memories. And sometimes we store them consciously, and sometimes they’re stored more unconsciously.
But one of the reasons that we have such a fondness for certain things is that memories are better encoded when they are paired with a very strong emotional response. So if something tragic or sad happens, you will often remember it in a very persistent way, and if something makes you feel good or makes you laugh a lot, which I think maybe people experienced with “Blossom,” you sometimes will get a stronger sense of memory and connection from something that has a positive emotion associated with it.
I should add that sometimes experiences that are negative can be so powerful that you don’t remember them at all. That’s a whole different chemical process.
Depending on where I am, and I guess the age of the person coming up to me, a lot of people tend to know me from “Big Bang Theory.” It’s a show that has tens of millions of people watching it every week, so statistically speaking, many people who also like me on “Blossom” are probably watching “Big Bang Theory.”
But once in a while, I’ll get someone who says “I don’t watch ‘Big Bang Theory,’ but I really loved you on ‘Blossom.'”
Often I’ll get young women, young enough to be my daughter, saying “my mom loved you on ‘Blossom,’ but I’m too young to have seen it, so I love you on ‘Big Bang Theory.'”
That makes me feel old.