Memory, The concept of memory - The fundamentals of general psychology

Chapter 9. Memory

The problem of memory is the same age as psychology as a science.

P.L. Blonsky

The soul is like a memory.

Blessed Augustine

The concept of memory

Memory is a thought process, which involves recording, storing, retrieving and forgetting information. Writer A. Chase defined memory as a process of subjective information selection: "Memory is what we forget". His paradoxical statement points to the role of man's will and consciousness in choosing information for short- or long-term storage.

The role of memory in a person's life is extremely great. The memory state almost always reflects the general state of mental activity. Poor memory means, first of all, that a man does not use his intellectual potential to the proper extent. It is proved that memory training always influences the speed and sharpness of thinking and, conversely, the development of abstract-logical thinking leads to an improvement in memory. THEM. Sechenov wrote: "The doctrine of the fundamental conditions of memory is the doctrine of power, unifying, pasting together every previous one with all subsequent. Thus, the activity of memory covers all mental processes .

Memory is determined by the work of the entire brain, but first of all it is a biological phenomenon caused by the activity of the senses. Since the XIX century. in the course of his research, the French scientist Paul Broca formulated the theory of functional localization, it is widely acknowledged that the structures responsible for memory are located in different parts of the brain - depending on which reactions of the body (sensory or emotional) it is based on. From the point of view of anatomy, the memory of the brain responds to the memory of the cortex, divided into different zones in accordance with various sensory senses and various motor functions of the body, the limbic system and the cerebellum. But the bulk of the neurophysiological activity that determines the work of memory occurs in the hippocampus, in the temporal lobe of each of the hemispheres. If this area is damaged on one side of the brain, remembering processes can still proceed, although with some irregularities. But with a bilateral violation, the capacity of consciousness to write and store information is lost. This can occur as a result of physical trauma or due to a shortage of neurochemical substances, such as in the case of brain-damaging diseases like Alzheimer's.

The work of memory is determined by the activity of nerve cells, or neurons, connected in the brain to each other. Signals from one neuron to another transmit special substances (neurotransmitters) - for example acetylcholine, which is contained in a large amount in the hippocampus. The lack of acetylcholine in the brain is equivalent to the lack of gasoline in the car. In this case, the ability to assimilate knowledge is lost and only spontaneous memory based on sensory reactions of the organism functions.

The slowing down of the metabolic processes of the brain, accompanying aging, is a well-known and important neurochemical phenomenon. The metabolic processes of the body include the oxidation of glucose and fats to produce energy, part of which is spent on the synthesis of acetylcholine in the brain. One possible consequence of the lack of acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters can be the inhibition of thought processes that damage memory: a person has a somewhat slower reaction to external signals, both during the recording of information in the brain and during the extraction from memory. If you notice a decrease in mental activity with age, which caused memory deterioration, you do not have to worry about it, you have to learn new thinking strategies that facilitate and accelerate the extraction of information from memory.

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