memories are made in brain - "
By Preeti Narayan
How does brain remember what you ate for breakfast this morning? Or what you read yesterday?
there are two parts of the brain
that play major role in making and storing memories - the hippocampus and the
The neurons in
hippocampus make short term memories while the cortex makes long term
memories. What is short term and long term memory?
Short term memories are like passing clouds
Any thing that you
remember for 15 or 30 seconds is short term memory. It’s like RAM in
Short-term memory holds
the information which we currently use for cognitive tasks such as
thinking. This can be new
information delivered by our senses, for example, weather is hot, or it
can be old information retrieved from the long-term memory, for example,
Ohm’s law that you studied yesterday.
Long term memories are like hard disk
Any memory that can be
recalled after 30 seconds is a long-term memory.
This is like the hard
disk of the computer which holds information right from your childhood
to what you did few minutes back.
memories, long-term memories have a physical presence in the brain.
Neurons, the brain
cells, make new physical connections with each other when a new
long-term memory is formed. This connection lasts for longer duration
and becomes stronger with repeated use.
Brain makes two copies of memory
Earlier it was thought
that first short-term memories are formed, which are then slowly
converted into long-term memory.
But research team from US and Japan who conducted research on mice were surprised by a new discovery. (Oh, yeah mice. It has been found that human neural circuit are similar to that of mice. Hence many studies done on mice have been proved applicable to humans also.) They found that memory is made in hippocampus and cortex region simultaneously.
This means, our brain
instantly makes two copies of memory for each event - one for the present and
another for long term use.
why when you sit out to solve that trigonometry, you remember what you
did few seconds back and will also remember it tomorrow… well at least
some of it.
does not mean a single ‘thing’
It is made of many
elements- smell, images, time, location, sound, touch and feelings.
It’s like a combination of information received from all the
senses. These elements of memory are stored in different parts of the
The context of memory
such as location and time at which the event took place is stored in
hippocampus. Emotions linked to that memory is stored in amagydala.
Similar memories tend to
be stored together – visual memories near the visual cortex region of
the brain, spoken memories near the language centres and so on. Hence
memories are spread in the various parts of the brain just like internet
is spread across the world.
This takes us to one
more important thing…
Not all information is important in the eyes of your
Your brain is very busy
and hence it is selective. “Important” things are recorded more
readily than routine or incomprehensible things, like an uneventful walk
to a shop, or dialogues of a movie in a language you don’t understand.
So if you want top rank
in studies, start considering your studies as very important part of
your life. Then any activity you do related to studies will be more
effectively recorded by your brain
Similarly, if being fit
and healthy is your goal then think of it as top priority in your life.
Then you will remember to eat on time, exercise regularly.
Are memories permanent?
No. Memories can change
over time. Some memories are like hard wired into the brain and they
stay with us all our life. Such as the memory of how to move, how to
walk, talk, etc. This is due to the fact that we repeatedly used those
memories since the time we were babies.
Hence the secret to
strong memory is to use it often. Try to recall what is important for
you repeatedly or do it often.
This is how student
becomes expert at solving problems - by solving it often. This is also how
a person becomes an expert at driving - by driving frequently.
If you give a long gap,
your memories become like ‘dusted’ and take longer time to recall.
Here’s one more
interesting thing about memory... we all often believe our memories are
accurate. But the fact is:
Memories change with time and situation
Take for example, the
memory of happy days spent with your neighbour change when you fight
Memories are flexible,
changeable. This nature of memory is used by psychotherapists
to cure patients suffering from traumatic injury.
It is possible to change
the memory of an event by going back to that event and changing the way
we look at it.
Say once while returning
home late at night, you were followed by two evil looking men. You were
scared, walked fast and somehow managed to reach a crowded area and
escape from those men. Now the memory of this event scares you each time
you are alone, especially at night.
You can try to forget it
by diverting your attention to something else or you can deal with it
Mentally go back to that
night and that place where you were followed. Now instead of feeling
scared about what if those men had caught hold of you, think
differently. No evil or loss can happen to you because you have
protection of God over you. That night also, the hand of God had guided
you away from that place. Mentally see that ‘hand’ and feel that
there never was any need to get scared during that night. You were never
alone. Feel this sense of security.
This kind of repeated
‘rewiring’ of past event can change the memory of that event.
Even students who suffer from exam fear can use this
For some students, the
mind goes blank when they enter exam hall or see the question paper.
This happens because
such students automatically play in their mind the past memories of the
time when they could not write answers or when they failed in exam.
Instead of focussing on
such negative memories, you can go back to the memory of the time when
you solved some questions nicely or some exam in which you performed
better. Then in your mind, tell yourself, “See I had written well
before, I had passed exams too. If I can do it once, I can do it
again.” Feel that sense of victory. When you repeatedly think like
this, your exam fear will become weak. You will definitely score more.
To recap it, get the
best out of your memory by recalling what you want repeatedly. Think of
that task or thing as very important for you. Travel back in your mind
to rewire and erase harmful memory which may hold you back from success.
Good luck to you!
© Copyright Applied Images, All Rights Reserved.