Understanding Memory Essay

1045 words - 4 pages

Memory is one of the most puzzling parts of the brain. How can our brain storemore information and thoughts than an encyclopedia and weigh less then three pounds?The brain gives us the ability to act on our own. To think, say, and do things we want todo all occur because of our brain. The brain controls our movement, our thoughts, and ourmemory. Memory, the process of storing and retrieving information in the brain, consistsof three main types, short-term, long-term, and ancestral all which can be comparredbetween genders.Memory is the process of storing and retrieving information in the brain. It hasthree main functions: recording, storing, and recalling. One records information in thebrain by permanently putting it into memory for later retrieval. Most people decide what isimportant to record and what is not. Storing information in the brain is conducted soinformation can be retrieved and compacted for later use. Recalling is remembering thestored information. Memory adapts to peoples needs and is a necessary for our way oflife (Yesavag 21). Memory decides how long to store something depending on the event.The information it stores is called traces or chunks and is stored in the deep temporal lobe,mid-brain, medial temporal lobe and other various places. Later these traces or chunks areremembered.There are four types of remembering. Recall, recollection, recognition, andrelearning. Recall is remembering something from the past. Recollection involvesreconstruction of events based on cues that serve as reminders. Recognition isremembering that refers to the ability to correctly identify previous encountered stimuli asfamilar. And relearning is material learned a second time. Relearning is the best evidenceof memory because when something is learned again it is familiar and seems like it wasknown before. Relearning is having the information retaught to you a second time.A type of memory that doesn't have recall, recollection, recognition, or relearningis Short-term memory. Short-term memory is memory that is "in use" and "active" andlocated in the deep temporal lobe. Short-term memory is the ability to retain a limitedamount of information called chunks for seconds to a minute and to remember it for up toan hour. Short-term memory has a limited amount of room to store chunks and is bestdescribed and used when dialing a phone number. A user simply reads the number off thephone book and then dials it. After dialing, the number is lost. Short-term memory ismemory that is "in use," and does not get transferred to long-term and later stored unlessthe person wants it to be and makes it happen. "Without short-term memory, our actionswould be slowed down with traffic jams of information just roaming around" (Fancher51). For this reason, short-term memory is important to a way of life. The one recall thatshort-term memory has is immediate recall. This is the ability to repeat a short series ofwords, pictures, sounds, etc. after hearing or seeing them....

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