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Human Brain: Forgetting Memory Essay

896 words - 4 pages

Everybody goes about their life on a daily basis making endless amounts of memories, but does not think back on them until later down the road. In reality, people’s lives are constructed by these mostly great however sometimes undesirable times called memories. Early researchers believed that there was one particular part of the human brain that contained memory; however, present day researchers have found that specific parts of the brain are responsible for different aspects of memory. As gratifying it is to create a life filled with joyous memories, due to various theories, accidents, or simply old age, forgetting memories can happen as quickly as making them did.
Memory is an internal ...view middle of the document...

Hermann Ebbinghaus was the first psychologist to introduce the idea of forgetting in 1885. Since then, it has been shown that the ability to forget memory is an essential part of our lives. There are several biological causes as to why people are incapable of recalling memories, but there are also several theories as to why forgetting occurs.
The five major theories are to why human beings may forget memories are: decay, interference, motivated forgetting, encoding failure, and retrieval failure. In decay theory, memory is stored in a physical form, such as neurons. Overtime, the connection between these neurons decays and these memories become forgotten. The decay theory, as well as Hermann Ebbinghaus’ research, helps explain why relearning a certain skill may take less time than the initial learning. In interference theory, forgetting is due to two separate memories competing in your mind. Sometimes, the interference may be retroactive, which means you are unable to recall old information because of new information. Other times, the interference may be proactive, which means that old information overrules the new information your brain just processed.
Human beings do not often have control over maintaining memories and forgetting memories, but the motivated forgetting theory allows humans to take control. In this theory, we push ourselves to forget a memory for any various reasons. Motivated forgetting theory is intriguing because this permits us to block a specific memory completely out of our conscious. A personal experience that I have with forgetting memory, particularly...

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