Are you curious about the human mind and how it creates memories?
From the time we come into the world, the brain is bombarded with a lot of information about our bodies and the world we live in. The human memory helps us retain this information and hold on to everything we have learned throughout our lives.
The brain keeps different types of memories for varying lengths of time. Long-term memories may last for decades, while short-term memories may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
If you are curious about how human memory works, read below for a full guide:
The Brain Reactivates Neurons To Make Memories
According to scientists, memories are reactivations of specific types of neurons in the brain. Memory is created from the strength that these neurons connect within the brain. But why are specific neurons reactivated instead of others?
The answer is simple: synaptic plasticity. This refers to the constant changes in the strong connections in the body known as synapses that happen between the brain cells. The brain can make these connections weaker or stronger depending on how often they have been active in the past.
The more active a connector is, the stronger it gets, whereas unused connectors often grow weaker until they are no more. Strengthening your existing synapses, removing old ones, and adding new ones is essential for forming memory in the brain.
Understanding Different Types Of Memory
While memory comes in many different forms, scientists don’t know much about how it works. There are still ongoing studies to understand how human anatomy affects memory storage, capacity, and formation
While scientists have come up with several theories about the different types of memory within the human brain, below are the four general ones:
- Long-term memory
- Working memory
- Short-term memory
- Sensory memory
However, some scientists state that these aren’t types of memories but rather the stages human memory passes through. If you go with this view, memory starts with the sensory, moves into short-term memory, and becomes long-term memory.
When you actively try to memorize something that sticks in your mind, you will be using part of your working memory. For example, the phone number you memorized is in your working memory, and it can’t move to another part of your cognitive map.
On the other hand, sensory memory records any sensory information for short periods, often one or fewer seconds. The brain starts processing different types of information that turn into memory from sensory memory.
To avoid losing your memory capacity, you must actively take care of yourself and carry out memory-stimulating tasks. If you or a family member is having memory problems, it’s a good idea to work with memory care experts.
Now You Know How The Human Memory Works