Memory is the most astonishing phenomenon in the world. It is the process by which information is stored, retrieved and encoded. Encoding lets information that is from the outer world to arrive at our senses in the forms of physical and chemical stimuli. Memory is further classified into long-term memory and short-term memory.
Long-term memory, as the name implies, is the memory which is kept stored in our mind for the longer duration of time. It also differs both functionally and structurally from the short-term memory or working memory.
Hypothetically, the ability of long-term memory could be limitless, the chief restraint on remind being a convenience rather than accessibility. The supposed encoding modes are usually pictorial or semantic, visual and also acoustic.
Types of Long-Term Memory
There are many diverse types of long-term memory. These memories are not produced and stored in a solitary part of the brain; rather the process of formation and storage of long-term memories is expanded throughout the different brain regions. The two chief subdivisions of long-term memories are:
- Explicit memory
- Implicit memory
Explicit memory is that you intentionally remember, for instance, an important event of your life or a scrupulous reality.
Implicit memory is that you carry without thinking about it, such as driving a car or riding a cycle means the skill you have once learned and you keep in mind. Now you do it without cognizant thought.
Long-term memory is not stationary either. It is not possible to imprint a memory and depart it as if unaffected. Instead, you frequently memorize the memory over time ~possibly by merging it with one more memory or including what others inform you regarding the memory. Consequently, your memories are not firmly constant and are not always dependable.
The long-term memory requires changes in the neurons of the brain to be stored for the longer duration of time. Whenever we learn something, neural networks i.e. the neuronal circuits in the brain are formed, modified or strengthened. These neural circuits communicate with one another via special junctions known as synapses. With frequent use, the competence of these synapse connections boosts, helping the nerve impulses passage to involve auditory cortex, visual cortex and also other regions of the cortex. In this way, a person can easily recall his memory.
Short term memory possesses 3 main aspects:
- Memory for a limited duration of time
- A memory having limited capacity
- The encoding which is mainly acoustic but can translate visual information into sounds
It is actually the capacity of retaining a small amount of information within the brain, to be available easily for a shorter duration of time.
Memory is stored for short-term basis by utilizing transmitter depletion. Any trigger can lead to activation of a spatial type of activity across neurons within our brain region. With the discharge from the neurons, the neurotransmitters in their store are exhausted. This represents storage of memory for a shorter time period. This example of exhaustion is iconic, symbolizes incentive information and works as a memory trace.
Short-term memory can be converted into long-term memory by rehearsing again and then. In this way, it will be retained in mind for a longer time period.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.