Memory is such an important factor in a person’s life. If it weren’t for our memory we wouldn’t remember important information, moments from the past and other important things in life. So what exactly is memory and how does one memory work? I will try as best as I can to try and explain a little bit about memory not getting too into to detail because even I don’t understand it all that well. Memory has always caught my attention because it amazes me how much information we can store.
Memory is one’s ability to encode, store retain and recall information and experiences from the past. Experts today say that memory isn’t located in one particular place of the brain; instead it’s a brain-wide process. According to Richard Mohs experts believe that the hippocampus and the frontal cortex analyze sensory inputs and they decide whether something is worth remembering. If these two things decide to remember something they become part of a person’s long term memory. Also these memories are stored in different parts of the brain. Although we may recall one memory it really is more complex than we think. For example remembering the first time you met someone special, your brain then remembers the setting, how the person looked, what they were wearing and other factors of that day. All these memories come from a different region of the brain.
To convert a memory properly you must be paying attention. We do not pay attention most of the time, if we did our memory will be full before we even get out of the house. Our brain filters everything that we see and we only remember certain things. We will remember other things if something else trigger us to remember that certain memory.
There are two different types of memory, short and long term memory.
Short term memory is also known as the primary or active memory. It is the information we are currently thinking of. According to Kendra Cherry information can be kept in short term memory for approximately twenty to thirty seconds. If we keep on repeating the information long enough it will then go into our long term memory. We can store up to about seven items in our short term memory, plus or minus two. So in reality it is known that we can possibly store five to nine items at a time. People can increase this capacity by using memory strategies.
Long term memory is referred to as the continuing storage of information. This is where we keep our memories from the past that we sometimes recall. Some of our memories in our long term memory are easy to remember but other we struggle to access. Long term memory can last up to days or even better years. This is what helps us remember our child hood or special moments in our lives. Experts say that in order for a memory to be stored in long term memory it must pass by short term memory first.
Effects of Aging on Memory
As we start getting older our memory isn’t our sharpest. We start to forget certain things or even names of people we once knew. A lot of people tend to freak out and think they are developing Alzheimer’s disease but that’s not the case. It’s simply a breakdown of our assembly process. This usually starts happening in our twenties but tends to get worse in our fifties. The reason for this is that as we get older the synapse that connects our cells begins to weaken. This affects how we recall a memory. As we get older the hippocampus loses five percent of its nerve cells every time ten years pass by. If you smoke or drink you speed up this process because you started damaging your cells when they were still working properly. As we age it may take us longer to remember or learn certain things that took us about a minute to learn when we were younger. But with enough practice you will still remember those things.
- How Does Your Cognitive Domain Perform? - (temmylinny.wordpress.com)
- Methodologically Focused Review – The Relationship Between Immediate Serial Recall And Word Articulation Rate Or Vocabulary Development (thinkingbookworm.typepad.com)
- Finding Help For Memory Loss Issues (osupastor.com)
- What fruit fly brains tell us about memory (msnbc.msn.com)
- Short-term memory is based on synchronized brain oscillations (terradaily.com)
- Brain Injury – Memory (brainhealthresources.wordpress.com)
- Bipolar Disorder and Memory Loss (everydayhealth.com)
- Researchers Say Memories Can Be Relived, Not Just Recalled [VIDEO] (mashable.com)