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63

This is similar to the problem of finding replicants in blade runner, so just apply the voight kampff test. the point is that you ask questions that that are supposed to evoke an emotional empathy response which your alien minded creatures don't have in the same way the humans have so it would be possible to notice. Another option, that is used today, is ...


45

Sagas and epics were long history lessons memorized easily by using rhyme, rhythm and repetition of structures, so your sages could use the same techniques. Avicenna (980-1037) already wrote about the capacity of memories to be linked to smells and tastes (turns out, he was right). Maybe your Ròda chew on something while memorizing, something rich in ...


43

Behavioral Biometrics In short, muscle memory. There is a section of biometrics called behavioral biometrics, which is based on your actions being different from person to person, as opposed to simply having a different face or fingerprint. The actions are learned and depend on your physical body, but is otherwise largely muscle memory and not a conscious ...


28

Piercings Similar to one comment about microchipping your population. A lot of cultures have a practice of ritual body-piercing. This isn't something that can be replicated by shape-shifting flesh, or by stealing clothing. The mimic would have to deliberately produce piercing-holes, steal the jewelry, and then have to install it. To me, it appears that ...


25

Human spatial memory is phenomenally good. Our ability to remember facts and figures sucks, but places and where things are and anything particularly out of place and interesting we can commit to memory quickly and remember for a long time. Check out Ed Cooks book "Remember Remember" for some fun examples. I read the first chapter a year ago and I still ...


17

Pre-modern people often had sages and wise men who spent their whole lives memorizing stories. Medieval clergy occasionally would memorize their whole holy book word for word. The Roda don't need anything special, because we didn't need anything special in real life. As for writing at night, they can use a bonfire and polished bronze (really any metal) to ...


13

I think they would perfect the art of building mind-palaces. Imagine that the games they played as kids revolved around associating physical items and places of their culture with either a short hand or phonetic version of their language — like how a dreidel is supposed to teach children hebrew characters Then when they mature and have the intellectual ...


12

Rapid fire questions I assume the creatures still need time to recall something. Asking multiple questions very fast with little time to answer would most likely trip them up. Make it anything that the person should know but might need any time to recall for the non-person: What's your favourite colour? Why did you get married to Alex? Where did you play ...


11

Few minutes (4 to 5) of anoxia (lack of oxygen supply) are sufficient to cause permanent damage to neurons, compromising a brain's functionality. https://www.spinalcord.com/anoxic-brain-injury On average, the brain can survive a mere four minutes without oxygen, so if you suspect a stroke or other injury that is cutting off oxygen to the brain, you need to ...


7

Basically any tradition from indigenous community carries some sort of help toward memorizing something. Stories, dancing, chant, mythology, "sacred" items and clothing, totems, rituals... Memory palaces are indeed one way to memorize in details long lists of elements. However, it works best if it's intertwined with multiple techniques to memorize it : A ...


7

There are already several wonderful answers, suggesting the use of: Humans' excellent spatial memory (MPram's and EDL's answers) Rhyme, rhythm and repetition (Carlos Martin's answer) Olfactory triggers (also Carlos Martin's answer) Magical memory enhancement (Vilx-'s answer) Each of these methods can work on its own or combined with others. What they all ...


6

Although L. Dutch's answer probably contains all the information you need, I think it would also be important to take into account the manner of the person's death. If an elderly person passes away in their sleep, I would guess that their memories would be readable for longer than someone who fell down a cliff and died of concussion, especially if they ...


6

Brain Scans Ask them questions about what their emotional response would be to hypothetical situations while they're in an MRI. e.g. "A person pushes you to the ground -- how do you react?". If the section of their brain associated with long-term memory lights up e.g. They are trying to retrieve a memory of a similar event from their human host to know how ...


5

Have daily jam sessions together Playing musical instruments and/or singing is a good part muscle memory, something that a shapeshifter probably doesn't instantly get from inspecting a victim's memory. A sudden loss (or rarely, gain) of skill could be a good sign of infiltration. This is the same as Spokio's answer. But you can take it to the next level ...


5

Chess Or, any other similarly complex game such as Go, or card games. If it is traditional in your society to be wary of outsiders, it's not implausible for it to be customary to play chess to "check" that your opponent is still the same person. Your shapeshifter may understand the rules of chess, or go or tarot or whatever, and may recall what their "host"...


5

I feel like the best way to catch people/shapeshifters out are unconscious habits, and ways of feeling/expressing yourself. Little tics of the face, twitches of the hand, and fidgety motions may be related to personality more than memory, so a shapeshifter might struggle to replicate those sorts of things. Abstract things like sense of humour are clearly ...


5

As a supplement to the other answers - if you already have spells and magic, why not have a "memory spell"? Your Ròda could have learned that by heart and then just use it whenever they see the need to remember something. For example: the spell could, when cast, grant the caster perfect memory for the next 5 minutes. Everything they hear or see or smell or ...


5

Make the seal psychosomatic, which will only work if the powers are mental base. In other words, the way the power should work is that the user activates them. For super strength, for instance, it's not that he innately possesses the strength of ten men - it's that he can 'turn on' the power in his head and choose to wield the strength of ten men. This way, ...


4

It is much cheaper to use customer experiences because the customers are paying you. You would need a technician and setup to simulate a person wandering around thru your VR. It could be done. But you already have many mucus-filled pods of people who have paid big bucks to actually experience wandering thru your VR. It is free for you to record their ...


4

Tell the shapeshifter they have Alzheimer's and ask them to take a memory exam Make it very clear how well they're expected to perform on the test. I.e, "at this stage, you should only be able to answer half these questions correctly. Anything better will be a miracle!" The shapeshifter will answer half correctly. The real article will answer all ...


3

Depends; Probably Yes Memory is largely still a mystery to us. Current theories vary widely, and all lack sufficient scientific backing. I will focus on the theory of memory which I, personally, think is most likely to be true - although, again, memory is mostly a mystery to us. The theory I like the most is, basically, that thoughts are nothing more ...


3

I wish I could remember the title, but I read a short story a few years ago about a society with a similar problem. Aliens could infect humans by replacing their minds with their own, but keeping the human memories. The aliens were very logical and didn't do unnecessary actions. The humans had a secret test to identify them. They police would find some ...


3

Tell them a Joke You say - "Your momma's so fat, you'd need three shapeshifters to imitate her fat ass." Given that alien psychology is different, and further on the lookout for suspicious people, it wouldn't be able to relax or jibe back at you. A human on the other hand would laugh despite the very real possibility.


2

Your sage would need to be a skilled hypnotist. By hypnotising Hanuman - who.must be sufficiently suggestible that he could be hypnotized in the first place - and suggesting to him that any memories of having powers were a dream, that in reality he is ordinary and that he can do only things that a mundane person could do, he can subconsciously participate ...


2

The artifacts have an alias. There is history out in the world about an artifact that looks like a stone fist the size of a melon, that will punch you in the junk if you don't say the magic words. It has a bunch of other properties too. There are stories out there about the Fist. How can the Fist evade this? The Fist stops looking like a Fist. It looks ...


2

How the brain operates is really complex This is literally taken from the real world. Here is a very brief history of AI: right about the 1960s the AI field was picking up pace. Researches were theorising that we'd have fully thinking AIs within a decade. As you can see 60 years later - that's not the case. OK, just making a computer think was proving to be ...


1

First off, AI may or may not be able to "create" a sufficiently interesting simulation in the first place. However, this is trivially solvable by having human "script-writers", which does not directly address the question being asked. So... why do we need a human to actually experience the simulation? Well... lots of reasons! A simulation isn't "perfect" ...


1

The primary reason, known by most sci-fi types, would be the Turing Test. The test requires an observer knowledgeable in the field of AI (thus knowing what to look for) to be unable to tell the difference between two participants in a written natural-language conversation, one of whom is known to be an artificial intelligence (but which one is unknown). ...


1

Alter the Information If it can't control minds to get at the information within it, the artifact does the next best thing - it targets the information when it gets passed down. Information is generally passed down either verbally or visually, and when either one happens, the artifact intercepts it and either swaps in dummy information (every time you try ...


1

Instead of the memory, you could reply the exact sensations the person felt at the time. Memories are weird. They are not sensations. They are something that long lived cells in the brain can do. Impulses in sensory and motor nerves are much less weird. In the story Isis and Augi, Augi is an artificial intelligence worn by Isis, a woman. Augi can ...


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