What is Memories: Definition and 33 Discussions

Memory is the faculty of the brain by which data or information is encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If past events could not be remembered, it would be impossible for language, relationships, or personal identity to develop. Memory loss is usually described as forgetfulness or amnesia.Memory is often understood as an informational processing system with explicit and implicit functioning that is made up of a sensory processor, short-term (or working) memory, and long-term memory. This can be related to the neuron.
The sensory processor allows information from the outside world to be sensed in the form of chemical and physical stimuli and attended to various levels of focus and intent. Working memory serves as an encoding and retrieval processor. Information in the form of stimuli is encoded in accordance with explicit or implicit functions by the working memory processor. The working memory also retrieves information from previously stored material. Finally, the function of long-term memory is to store data through various categorical models or systems.Declarative, or explicit, memory is the conscious storage and recollection of data. Under declarative memory resides semantic and episodic memory. Semantic memory refers to memory that is encoded with specific meaning, while episodic memory refers to information that is encoded along a spatial and temporal plane. Declarative memory is usually the primary process thought of when referencing memory. Non-declarative, or implicit, memory is the unconscious storage and recollection of information. An example of a non-declarative process would be the unconscious learning or retrieval of information by way of procedural memory, or a priming phenomenon. Priming is the process of subliminally arousing specific responses from memory and shows that not all memory is consciously activated, whereas procedural memory is the slow and gradual learning of skills that often occurs without conscious attention to learning.Memory is not a perfect processor, and is affected by many factors. The ways by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved can all be corrupted. Pain, for example, has been identified as a physical condition that impairs memory, and has been noted in animal models as well as chronic pain patients. The amount of attention given new stimuli can diminish the amount of information that becomes encoded for storage. Also, the storage process can become corrupted by physical damage to areas of the brain that are associated with memory storage, such as the hippocampus. Finally, the retrieval of information from long-term memory can be disrupted because of decay within long-term memory. Normal functioning, decay over time, and brain damage all affect the accuracy and capacity of the memory.

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  1. O

    Why does the past hypothesis let us believe our memories?

    In Sean Carroll’s excellent series of lectures about time (Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time), he talks about the past hypothesis: the hypothesis that entropy was lower in the past. He says "it is ultimately that we know more about the past because of the past hypothesis that what we call causes...
  2. M

    Does having a good memory mean you have a high IQ?

    So I have an excellent memory. It’s not eidetic but I remember minuscule details that other people shouldn’t. I always did pretty decent in school but I was weak in math. I am a grad student currently going for a degree in Library Sciences. My IQ was tested as a toddler and it was a little above...
  3. platosuniverse

    How does the brain recall memories?

    I'm working on a project and I've been doing research about memory recall and I haven't found a lot of info on it. I've found info on how memories are formed. A study talks about how memories form in different parts of the brain and play back like a streaming video...
  4. Shakir

    Memories of being in the womb?

    I was wondering why we can not remember any memories of being in the womb?
  5. I

    Can Plants Form Memories? Investigating the Possibility of Memory in Plants

    From what I know, neurons are the only ones that create memories through long-term potentiation. Do plants have any equivalent process? Can they create a "repository of information"? I am guessing not. Other than genetically coded molecules that are reacting to the world outside and perhaps...
  6. Graeme M

    Are memories made of this or that?

    I've been reading a little about memory - the various kinds and how it works. Something immediately springs to mind and I haven't found a clear answer. But then I'm not sure if I am totally missing the point and misunderstanding things. When we perceive a scene, we detect sensory stimuli which...
  7. TygerRose

    Disassociative drugs and cognitive development

    I'm not sure if this isn't the correct forum; but I recently was experimenting with dextromethorphan; and while on the drug, I had a psychotic break. All of a sudden I have retained positive memories from childhood, lost all depression, have incredible amount of excessive energy, and have the...
  8. I

    Different animal sensory, short and long term memories?

    Is there any research that was done on animal long and short term memories? And short of empirical analysis, if there is none, is there much we could conclude, based purely on what we know about their brains? For example, from knowing which brain parts deal with explicit and which with...
  9. Q

    When we die what becomes of our intangible memories & experiences?

    We are taught that in nature, nothing is wasted. Confining ourselves to human beings, when we die our physical bodies get recycled. What becomes of our non-physical memories and experiences?
  10. Pythagorean

    Erasing memories via memory reconsolidation

    A review of memory reconsolidation[1], the recent experiment in which memory traces were attenuated[2] and a caveat that recovery of the fear memory is typical in patients [3]. [1] http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v8/n4/abs/nrn2090.html [2]...
  11. H

    What is ferromagnetic memories ?

    What is ferromagetic memories ? I need matter on this help me please, searching so many webs can't get proper matter :(
  12. Evo

    Childhood memories not what they used to be

    There is a cookie commercial by Nestle for chocolate chip cookies out right now that talks about creating memories for your children of cooking together. They show a child pulling squares of finished cookie dough off of a waxed piece of cardboard from a packet and placing them on a cookie...
  13. mugaliens

    Medical Our Earliest Memories: Exploring the Mysteries of Self-Awareness

    This is going to sound a bit weird to some, but perhaps not so much to others. I haven't a clue as to when I "first" became self-aware. I have memories dating back to age 0. They're as real and surprising as the expression on my Mom's face when I describe the room in which my diaper was...
  14. turbo

    Do you have a song that elicits very specific memories?

    I just heard "Cherish" by the Association on the oldies station, and immediately flashed back to the Freshman welcome dance in HS. It was a VERY hot song, and it was the first song played at that sock-hop for the Freshman-Senior waltz. I got chosen by a friend's sister. Cute and chesty in her...
  15. ~christina~

    Linking memories to the age in which they occurred

    I don't know if this belongs in this part of the forum but I'll ask here first. (It might delve into the different subjects of biology and etc.) Whenever I hear people speak about something that happened to them in the past, I'll generally hear them linking the memory to when they were a...
  16. R

    Your memories are almost certainly false

    It’s overwhelmingly probable that all of your memories are fake. Consider: Entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system. The higher the entropy, the higher the disorder. If a deck of cards is ordered by suit and then within each suit by ascending rank, then that’s a low entropy...
  17. Evo

    What childhood memories can reveal about our age?

    I'm wondering if we can guess the age of members by what they remember of their childhood? I remember Saturday mornings watching the test pattern on one of the 3 tv stations in our area. Tv didn't start until after 6am, and went off the air at 10pm, except on Friday and Saturday nights. I...
  18. A

    Reliving Educational Memories from Homeschooling Days

    I remember watching these educational videos waaaay back in the day (I was homeschooled) and learned alot. Great fond memories. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2k9JwGpm1w https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRL9IVvuNl8
  19. marcus

    Feynmania-fond/inspiring memories (and ask Wolram to start a blog)

    Feynmania--fond/inspiring memories (and ask Wolram to start a blog) I'd like to share this. http://www.longnow.org/views/essays/articles/ArtFeynman.php Thanks to Swans on Tea for the link http://blogs.scienceforums.net/swansont/archives/352 ======================= When I came here to post...
  20. wolram

    Museum Exhibit Closes: Memories and Reflections

    It closed minutes ago
  21. wolram

    Finding places based on memories

    I find i have fond, oh so fond ,memories of places i have visited and need to go go back there, but can not remember details, how can i re find these places?
  22. Evo

    Can Digitally Altered Photos Change Our Memories of Historical Events?

    It's been done already, it makes you wonder how widespread it is. Just posting a photo out of context can completely change the reality of a situation, it doesn't even need to be "doctored". http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20071126/sc_livescience/fakephotosalterrealmemories
  23. S

    Medical Why does thinking about old memories feels good?

    My bro. told me that it feels good b/c it gives us a sense of accomplishment; legacy. But I saw an old video I havn't seen in a long time and it made my brain access a part of its mind which I don't experience very often. Thanks for the replies!
  24. Ivan Seeking

    Is Hypnosis Reliable in Retrieving Lost Memories?

    Hypnosis is used to retrieve "lost memories" in cases of alleged [so called] alien abduction. In fact, I believe that this is how nearly all claims of abduction come to light. Typically, before the hypnosis session[s] start, the person claims to have recurring dreams or other problems that led...
  25. S

    Memories of Growing Up in Indiana

    Ah, Indiana. Lived there for years; high school and college there. Maximally insular. The legislature once debated seriously a proposal to define pi as 3 1/6.
  26. K

    Genes themselves have memories, swtiches

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/ghostgenes.shtml Genes themselves have memories, swtiches, that could be turned on or off in one person `s lifetime, and passed on to that person `s offsprings. evidences are 1) grandparents that experienced famine, is correlated with...
  27. dduardo

    Relive Childhood Memories with RetroJunk.com

    Checkout this site: http://www.retrojunk.com/ I remember spending plenty of time as a child watching a lot the shows listed in the tv section. Even shows from the 70s like Hanna Barbara's original Tom and Jerry and Spiderman.
  28. E

    Erasing Memories: Technology & Hypnosis?

    Is there a way to erase certain memory from one's brain? For instance, everything in relation to a person? or... certain events about the person... ? well, i mean something besides like drinking... does hypnosis do that? i should say that commonly suggested methods don't work... just curious if...
  29. L

    Alien species produced memories

    If an alien species produced memories using process involving an overall negative entropy change, would it have memories from our future? It would appear to us as though these alien memories were being destroyed with an overall positive entropy change (since in our perception every reaction...
  30. D

    Photographic Memory: Implants & Transplants - What's Possible?

    lol I know this sounds weird but I was wondering if anyone knew anything about photographic memories. I mean for example does anyone think that it would be possible, now or in the future, to implant a photographic memory into somebodys brain? I mean, if somebody had a photographic memory, could...
  31. A

    Are Participants Creating New Memories or Just Lying?

    New memories or lying? I read http://abcnews.go.com/sections/SciTech/DyeHard/false_memory_dyehard_040414-1.html article today, and I was left wondering whether participants were actually developing a new memory, or if they would be lying to the researcher about a clearly harmless issue...
  32. D

    Reliving Childhood Memories with Megaman!

    I don't know if anyone remembers the nintendo game Megaman, but I grew up playing that series. Brought back some great memories. Here's the site http://www.zebox.com/projectx/
  33. E

    Why do we experience deja vu and dream memories?

    You have had deja-vu? I think deja vu expercieces are "raw" dream memories that are trying to surface in the intellect. If you think of it in terms of computers. "Raw" dream memories, residing in the aether, sublte mind, are in a "5th dimensional format," because the aural facilities of the mind...