How do we store and retrieve memories?
What is memory?
Memory is when something happens or when you learn something or meet someone new; your brain determines whether or not to store this information. Just like a computer that saves the data in files, your brain too saves memories in various parts or files. The human brain has different parts and each part saves data of various types.
How are memories stored and retrieved in the human brain?
Usually the brain stores memories in two ways…
Long term memory which is stored in a deeper section of the brain. The part that stores the long term memory is the hippocampus and is one of the most important parts of the brain to store and retrieve memories.
Short term memories like the room number of your hotel. Short term memories are sometimes transferred to the hippocampus based on their importance. The brain decides which type of memory is worth remembering.
How do you remember things from the past?
When some information is determined to have long term value or is worth remembering, the hippocampus links significant elements from that event or information, puts the experience together to form a permanent or long term memory.
Information that cannot be stored by the hippocampus cannot be remembered or retrieved. If the hippocampus is damaged then all memories are lost.
An emotional memory is the strongest to recall and retrieve. An excellent performance in an exam, a final dance with that someone special, a goal scored when you were about to lose are some special emotional moments that will be stored as long term memories and are easy to recall or retrieve.
Will you remember this video?