Memory is usually understood as the ability to remember past events, though memory covers many more functions. Experts believe that the brain stores all the events of a person’s life, even if it seems to us that we can not remember something at the moment. Memory is a complex system based on numerous processes in the brain. It is the ability to remember and store information, and also to reproduce it when necessary. So you can say that memory is an important part of our lives. If we lost memory, we would have to learn everything from scratch.
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What Is Memory?
The human experience is characterized by our cognitive development, behavior, emotions and the decisions we make, all which are related to the memory. It is defined as “a neurocognitive capacity to encode, store, and retrieve information” (Craik and Tulvin, 36). Thence, the study of this faculty plays an important role in the neuroscience and the psychology fields, with a broad range of applications not only for adults but also for children.
As human beings, we are exposed to many stimuli and experiences as a part of life, this information is reserved for the brain through the memory, in order to do that, certain processes that take place, first, the selection of the information received, the abstraction as the way to store the meaning of the information, the interpretation to generate comprehension and the integration where the memory is formed (Alba and Hasher, 203). Besides, there is a model named the multi-store model, that explains the main components or stages of the memory, this includes the sensory register, the short-term store and the long-term store (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 94).
From these components many memory types arise that involve specific functions of the brain. Thus, it is evident that the brain has multiples mechanism involving memory, most of aimed for all the different information that comes throughout life. It is clear the importance and appreciation of this capacity, which can be fully understood when encountering the many kinds of memory disorders. The ability of the brain to process and store the incredible amount of information that we receive is, indeed, a fundamental role of our minds, that is essential for the human experience overall.
- Alba, Joseph W., and Lynn Hasher. “Is Memory Schematic?” Psychological Bulletin, vol. 93, no. 2, 1983, pp. 203–231.
- Atkinson, R. C., and R. M. Shiffrin. “Human Memory: A Proposed System and Its Control Processes.” Psychology of Learning and Motivation, vol. 2, 1968, pp. 89–195.
- Craik, Fergus I. M., and Endel Tulving, editor. The Oxford Handbook of Memory. 1st ed., Oxford University Press, 2000.