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Memory is a magic thing. Memories play a vital role in all aspects of our life from recalling childhood stories to recalling the keys left behind. It helps us to form a self-consciousness and continuously acquire our life experiences. It is like a treasure of the heart, storing the information of life until we need it. But in fact, memory is a complex process, and it is the delicate collaboration of multiple parts of the brain. Memory may be vivid and persistent, but it may be short and vague. Next, we will learn 10 things about memory and unveil the mysteries of the brain.1. Important Roles of Hippocampus
The hippocampus is a boots area in the brain. It plays an important role in consolidating our short-term memory to form a growth memory. Our brain has an edge system associated with emotion and long-term memory. The hippocampus is part of the peripheral system. It is closely related to complex processes such as formation, organization, and storage and memory.
Because the left and right sides of our brain are symmetric, the hippocampus can be found on both sides. If one side of the hippocampus is injured or damaged, as long as the other side of the hippocampus is intact, our memory function can be maintained. If both sides of the hippocampus are damaged, it will affect our memory and lead to amnesia.
The function of the hippocampus declines with the increase of age. At the age of 80, people may lose 20% of the neural connections in the hippocampus.
2. Most of the short-term memories will soon be forgotten
The total capacity of short-term memory is very limited. Experts believe that a person can remember 7 things for 20 to 30 seconds in short-term memory. However, short-term memory capacity can be expanded through memory techniques, such as information restructuring. (Information reorganization <chunking> refers to reorganizing scattered small pieces of information into large pieces of information. For example, if you want to remember 8 consecutive numbers, 4-7-2-1-3-6-5, you can make them into 4721-365, this makes it easy to remember)
In a famous paper published in 1956, psychologist George Miller said there were about five to nine projects that short-term memory could store. Today, many experts believe that the actual capacity of short-term memory may be closer to 4.
You can spend two minutes trying to remember some unrelated random words, and then write them on a blank sheet of white paper as much as possible based on your memory to see how much you can remember. This is probably your short-term memory capacity.
3. quizzes help you better remember
Although it seems that learning and previewing information are the best way to ensure you can remember them, researchers have found that testing information is actually one of the best ways to improve memories.
An experiment found that students who perform tests after learning have better long-term memories of the learned content, even if the information is not covered by the test. Students who spend more time learning without testing show poor information recall ability.
4. You can learn to improve your memory
Have you ever felt that you often forget or put the things you want to use every day in the wrong place? Have you ever walked to a place and forgot why you came here? You may think you are destined to endure these daily troubles, but researchers have found that you can learn to improve your memory.
In the 2005 cover story of monitor on psychology, several research findings are summarized to address slight memory declines, including:
5. four main reasons for forgetting
It is very important to understand the cause of forgetting things to overcome amnesia. Elizabeth Loftus, one of the world's most prestigious human memory experts, once cited the four main reasons for forgetting. One of the most common explanations is that retrieving information from memory fails. This often happens when our memories are rarely accessed, as this leads to a decline in memory over time.
Another common cause is memory interference. It is often caused by conflicts and competition between some of our memories and other memories. For example, imagine a teacher has just started teaching in the new year, and she spent some time remembering the name of each of her students. However, during the course of the year, she found that she often called a girl by mistake. Why? It turns out that this girl's sister was in this class a year ago, and she looked very similar. It is precisely because her sister's memory interferes with the teacher's new memory that makes it difficult for her to remember her sister's name.
Other causes of forgetting include failing to store the information in the memory at the beginning, or intentionally forgetting difficult or difficult events.
6. The amnesia described in the movie is not accurate.
Amnesia is a commonly used plot arrangement in movies, but these descriptions are often inaccurate. For example, do you often see that a fictional character loses its memory after a head impact, and then miraculously restores its memory after another impact?
There are two different types of amnesia in science:
Although the description of amnesia in most movies involves reverse amnesia, in fact, forward amnesia is more common. The most famous example of forward amnesia is an h.m patient. In 1953, he had a brain operation to stop cuts caused by severe jaundice. The procedure excludes all of his seahorses. As a result, h.m can no longer form a new long-term memory.
Popular movies and TV programs want to describe the loss of memory as a very common fact, but in fact, it is rare to completely lose a person's past memories. The following are some of the most common causes of amnesia:
7. Use flavor to trigger memory
I don't know if you have had such an experience. A special smell will keep you updated. For example, the scent of cookies reminds you of the happy time you spent at your grandmother's house when you were a child. For example, the taste of a perfume reminds you of the romantic time spent with your previous lover. Unfortunately, it ends with bitterness.
Why does smell play such a powerful trigger in memory?
First, the location of the sensory nerve is very close to that of the tonsils. In the brain, the tonsils are connected to emotional experience and emotional memory. In addition, the location of the sensory nerve is close to that of the hippocampus. As mentioned above, the hippocampus has an important relationship with memory. Therefore, the sense of smell has a strong stimulating effect on human memory.
The actual effect of odor is highly correlated with memory. Researchers have discovered that the human body's ability to recognize smells disappears when part of the brain's connected memory is damaged. In order to identify the smell, you must remember where the smell occurred last time and associate it with some information that occurred at that time. According to some studies, learning knowledge in an odor environment increases the vividness and intensity of memories when you smell the same smell again.
8. Whenever you create new memories, a new brain connection will be established.
Researchers have always believed that changes in brain nerve cells are related to the formation of memory. Today, most experts believe that the formation of memory is associated with the enhancement of existing connections or the generation of new connections between neural cells. As we all know, the associations between neural cells are called syncs, which allow information to be transmitted from one nerve cell to another in the form of neural impulses. In the human brain, trillions of syntaxes form a complex and flexible network that allows us to perceive, act, and think. It is precisely in some regions of the brain, for example, the changes in the SYN connections between the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus have an important relationship with us to learn and maintain new information.
In a study organized by the New York School of Medicine, scholars were able to observe the mouse's brain in the process of forming a syn. They found that, in young mice, these tiny highlights sometimes rapidly develop into longer body thorns at the receiving end of the syn. They grow at exactly the same rate as that of the visual cortex. However, with the passage of age, many of them continue to form completely developed body thorns despite the gradual decline of a large number of subtle highlights.
Project leader Wen-Biao Gan explained in an interview to the science website whyfiles.org, "our idea is that when you learn and remember, in fact, there is no need to generate many new syncs and remove the old ones. You only need to modify the strength of the existing SYN to form short-term learning and memory. However, it seems that only a small number of syncs are created or selected to form long-term memories ."
Obviously, maintaining a healthy brain and SYN is the key to memory. The degradation of the SYN will lead to diseases and neurotoxins associated with cognitive problems, memory loss, emotional changes, and other changes in brain function.
So, how can we strengthen your neural syncs?
9. quality sleep can improve memory
You may have heard of many reasons for sleep. Since the 1960 s, researchers have noticed an important association between sleep and memory. In a classic experiment in 1994, they found that if they don't let people go to bed, it would damage their ability to improve performance in a parallel recognition task.
In addition to helping with memory, sleeping also plays an important role in learning new knowledge. In a study, scholars found that students without sleeping had forgotten a new skill for at most three days.
However, they also found that the effect of sleep on procedural memory is far greater than that on declarative memory. Procedural memory refers to memories related to movement and perception skills, while declarative memory refers to memories related to memories of real events. Robert Stickgold, a professor of spirituality at Harvard Medical School, explained in APA's monitor onpsychology: "If you are going to be tested with 72 irregular French words tomorrow, you might as well stay up late and stick to it. But if they want to shock you and ask you to explain the difference between the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, you 'd better take a good rest early !"
10. Memory loss of the elderly may not be inevitable
Although early and old dementia and other age-related memory problems affect many elderly people, the loss of memory in old age may not be inevitable. With the passage of time, some of the capabilities of the human body do gradually decline, but researchers found that most people in their 70 s were doing as well as they were in their cognitive tests. Some types of memories even progress with age.
While the researchers are still trying to figure out why some elderly people are able to maintain good memory, while others are only struggling to remember something, some factors have been involved. First, many experts believe that there is a genetic module associated with memory persistence in the elderly. Second, lifestyle also plays an important role.
"I think, to a large extent, this is a natural and nurturing and interaction," Dr. bruce S. mcEwen explained to the New York Times that "a genetic defect increases the possibility of effective experience ".
So what steps can you take to delay the negative effects of age?
According to a ten-year study, strong self-efficacy awareness is important for maintaining a good memory in the elderly. Self-Efficacy refers to the consciousness that controls people to complete their own lives and destiny. This strong sense of self-efficacy has been linked to low-layer stress levels. As previously mentioned, high levels of long-term stress have deteriorated the brain's memory center.
Although there is no simple "quick restoration" to ensure that your memory is not affected by the years, researchers believe that you can avoid stress and maintain a positive lifestyle, and broaden your mind is an important way to reduce the risk of memory decline.
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