Archive for the ‘Memory’ Category

Do you remember?

Posted on: September 5th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

Try this brief exercise. Get comfortable. Take a deep breath. Now, recall your very first phone number.

(Pause.)

How quickly did the number come back to you? What else came back? In that instant, did you feel as if you were 5 or 6 or 8 years old? Did you see the kitchen with a rotary wall phone and the table where you did your homework? Maybe you saw your house from the street and heard the tch-tch-tch of a sprinkler, or inhaled the aroma of a freshly cut lawn. Chances are the recollection inspired a host of sensory memories which acted as a kind of time machine, ferrying you across a great divide.

One of the reasons your first phone number – like a first love – comes back so readily is because it was an emotional event, a rite of passage. It was given to you only when you were ready for it, and once possessed, it provided a lifeline to a world outside of your family. Your first phone number was novel, it was important, and it became part of your long term memory.

How did it get there, and what does emotion have to do with it?

A memory is not a thing, consigned to one area of the brain. Memories are brain-wide and depend upon a group of communication systems, each playing a unique role. There are three basic stages of memory: encoding, storage, and recall. (more…)