Essay Example on Memory is a very hard subject to Study








Memory is a very hard subject to study Many philosophers created theories that were not discovered decades after Most of the scientific thought of memory has developed over time and has been influenced by people from the great philosophers of ancient greece Human behavior development and nature all require an understanding of memory Plato Aristotle Hermann Ebbinghaus and Richard Semon all had theories that contributed to our understanding of human memory Plato s wax tablet metaphor showed us memory storage technologies People often talk about memory in metaphors Some metaphors that express memoires are a wax tablet a record player a writing pad a tape recorder or a video camera There are also different kinds of metaphors for example types of knowledge different times in our lives and different memories that are stored in different places Plato's ideas were further developed by other rationalists philosophers Aristotle s most powerful contribution to the development of memory was the idea that memories are composed of various simulations or experiences The aspect of memory has influenced on how people think about the mind behavior and genetic influences Richard Semon developed a theory on memory and the process of retrieval in the 20th century his work was not noticed until seventy years later Clive

Wearing the man with the worst case of amnesia has lived his life in total confusion as he feels unconscious and describes his diagnosis as death He has no thoughts no dreams and no ideas Everyday is a unthinkable struggle for Wearing even after being diagnosed for 20 years Before all of this happened Clive Wearing was a successful musical director in London in the early 80s He traveled around the world performing in front of hundreds of people leaving the crowd breathless Wearing had no idea of the unexpected change he would soon experience The herpes virus commonly known for leaving sores on the skin was the cause of his condition Wearing was given medicine to stop the virus from spreading but the medicine did not stop the permanent brain damage In very rare occasions the herpes virus can attack the brain which causes the brain to swell up and be crushed against the bone Due to his herpes Wearing s hippocampus was completely wiped out along with his temporal lobe occipito parietal frontal lobes thalamus hypothalamus and amygdala After this Wearing was not able to create new memories but he still vaguely remembers memories from his childhood Surprisingly Wearing is still able to play music but he often has auditory hallucinations He was forced to live at St Mary s hospital where he was treated for seven years because of his illness 

During that time he participated in multiple experiments and tests Wearing s case made history when it was televised as a documentary in 1986 Outside of the hospital and treatment center Wearing's condition made it impossible for him to live with his wife Deborah Although they are still married they live nearly 80 miles apart Wearing s children from his first marriage visit Wearing as much as they can even though he has no idea what his children s names are Wearing is often described as loving passionate and funny He makes the most out of everyday and even though he may not remember he still is trying to enjoy his somewhat complicated life Wearing s case taught us about our procedural long term and short term memories The process of forming a memory is still not fully developed as forming memory is a very hard process to observe in the human brain Scientist believe that this thinking is supported by neuronal activity patterns in the prefrontal cortex the front part of your brain Every time you learn a fact experience an event or try to remember name you must encode the information before it goes away Information goes to the hippocampus this is important for the formation of new memories and one of the only places in the brain were brand new neurons are generated

The hippocampus links all of the relevant information together and encodes it into a new memory by forming a new synapses Not all information is equal in the hippocampus Important things are encoded more effectively than routine things The hippocampus is selective because it is very busy newer memories live in the hippocampus for a while But as more memories are formed the neurons that represent a specific memory migrate further into the cortex this happen because memories are stored throughout the brain Your memories often linked together if they are similar spoken memories are near the language cortex and visual memories near the visual cortex Human memories are not stored like books in a library they are constantly being updated Long term memories can appear to be lost like passwords deadlines addresses and phone numbers It is not that these memories are lost but rather you can recall these memories When we want to access a memory from the dark recesses of our brain signals from our frontal cortex link to the memory then we can reconstruct the information

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