How Does Memory Work?

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When talking about bad or good memory, people unwittingly imagine it as an invisible part of the body, the “thing” that is responsible for the success in exams and the place where we put our glasses at night

When talking about bad or good memory, people unwittingly imagine it as an invisible part of the body, the “thing” that is responsible for the success in exams and the place where we put our glasses at night. But in fact, memory is not a specific area in the brain, or even the entire brain as a whole, but rather a concept of how it works. By understanding this concept, you can improve your memory.

How is memorization going?

Let's say you're drinking coffee while standing on the waterfront, and then a clown walks past you on a unicycle, juggling bottles of whiskey.

Close your eyes - like a clown smile reflected on the inside of the eyelids? It is the work of sensory, sensory memory, the "direct imprint of sensory information." Similarly, your hands will feel the roughness of the stone mounds, even when you remove your palms.

This memory lasts from half a second to a second.

Then the short-term memory is included in the work - it is not a sensory reproduction, but rather a repetition of the event scheme. So you can repeat the last five words of the teacher, but remember the words themselves, not the timbre and intonation.

Short-term memory simultaneously stores no more than five or six events (information units), and the "shelf life" is about twenty seconds. You can order homework in the Economics Homework Help and just read it, after a while you will not remember about You can use various tricks to improve your short-term memory: for example, you can memorize a ten-digit phone by dividing the digits into five groups of two digits each.

Then it's time for long-term memory. The shelf life of information packed in a long-term memory capsule is theoretically limited only by a person's life expectancy.

It is clear that the stage of transferring information from short-term memory to long-term memory is the most insidious for any student.

In the words of romantic Fanny Price:

“If any of our abilities are more striking than the rest, I would say memory. In her power, failures, variability there is, in my opinion, something much more frankly incomprehensible than in any of our other gifts. The memory is sometimes so tenacious, helpful, obedient, and sometimes so confused and weak, and at another time so despotic, beyond our control! We are, of course, a miracle in all respects, but really, our ability to remember and forget seems to me completely incomprehensible. "

Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Today, when we met Fanny, we could tell her something about the neurochemistry of memory.

So, information about the clown comes from the sensory systems to a part of the brain called the hippocampus.

He uses the cortex of the frontal lobes of the brain to analyse information, collect disparate signals into a single image-memory and decide whether the fact of meeting a clown is worth the transition to long-term memory.

Let's say the answer is yes.

How do nerve cells cope with the task?

Neurons are interconnected by synapses. An electrical impulse passing through a nerve cell becomes a chemical signal at the synapse. These chemical messengers between cells are called neurotransmitters.

The most popular neurotransmitters: adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, glycine, acetylcholine, etc. Serotonin, for example, is responsible for positive reinforcement information (oh, this cappuccino is great, I'll take it next time!). Norepinephrine - for negative information (I will never go back to where crazy clowns go!).

The neurotransmitter activates an electrical signal in a neighbouring cell, and again a pulse - a chemical signal - a pulse ... this creates a neural connection that fixes the memory.

This neural connection between groups of cells, which encodes a certain memory, is not like a notebook page written once and for all. Nerve cells are not isolated from their counterparts in this connection, but continue to interact actively, so memory capacity is limited only by the plasticity of the brain.

You walked all day, shivering and muttering something under your breath, remembering the meeting with the clown. Or thought about your essay which you ordered in the essay writing help. What happened to the brain at this time?

With each repetition, either the synapse increased or new processes increased at the end of the neuron, which formed new synaptic contacts.

As a result, even a weak excitation of one neuron becomes sufficient to excite another neuron ... and now the whole sequence of cells is activated, which preserves the memory of your meeting.

If you have already met gymnasts on this promenade who did somersaults or read a book about the history of circus art, it will be easier for you to keep the memory of meeting a clown - it "connects" to the existing neural network of previous memories.

That is why a person with an ordinary, average memory can store an amazing amount of information on the topic that interests him.

It seems that repetition is still the mother of learning.

But now you know how it happens at the neurochemical level!

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