We all know what memory is and what it is for, but not everyone knows how it works and what its peculiarities are, beyond storing information around us.
In this article, we will briefly explain how this information is stored., In order to be able to understand the curiosities that characterize it and make this function a mystery that has not yet been completely solved.
Curiosities about memory: how does it work?
To understand the peculiarities of human memory, we must first know how it works, or what elements or stages it follows from the moment we perceive something until a memory is formed about it. .
Memory is that function of the brain which is responsible for encoding, storing, and safeguarding all information acquired in the past. According to the distance of this past, the memory is divided into short-term memory or long-term memory.
This memory is possible thanks to the synaptic links between neurons, which are repeatedly connected to create neural networks. In addition, the hippocampus is the main brain structure related to memory, so its deterioration or injury will cause many problems there.
However, there are many other memory related systems and each of them has special functions depending on their characteristics. These systems include parts of the temporal cortex, the central area of the right hemisphere, the parietotemporal cortex, the frontal lobes, and the cerebellum.
Knowing that there are different stages in the creation of memories, it will be easier for us to understand the curiosities of our memory.. Since these can occur both when encoding external information, and sometimes when our brain stores them or when we are trying to retrieve or evoke a memory.
6 curious facts about memory
Due to the complexity of the systems surrounding the creation and retrieval of memories, memory buries many curiosities both in relation to its own functioning and in relation to diseases or syndromes, which modify it in many unexpected ways.
1. Our brain creates false memories
Everything we remember is not true or has not happened in real life. False memories consist of rediscovering an event or situation that never really existed.
If we return to the steps memory takes to create memory, the first is to perceive and encode external information. When these external stimuli are too intense or too intense, our brain can become overloaded, and association processes are altered creating false memories.
The same happens when we talk about traumatic situations or experiences, creating false memories is a strategy to defend our mind to protect us from memories that can affect us in a bad way.
Therefore, a false memory cannot be considered a lie, because the person recounting this experience blindly believes that it happened so.
2. The Mandela effect
This curiosity of memory known as the Mandela effect is closely related to the previous point. In the case of the Mandela Effect, those false memories we talked about earlier are shared by a large part of the population.
The best example to explain this is the one that gives it its name. In 1990, when Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison, there was great unrest among much of the population. The reason was that these people were sure that Nelson Mandela had died in prison, they even claimed to have witnessed the moment when his death was announced on television, as well as his burial. However, Mandela died 23 years later from a respiratory infection.
Therefore, this effect describes the phenomenon in which a large number of people remember almost exactly an event or event which never happened as such or which does not correspond to what reality dictates. .
The phenomenon of cryptomnesia is when the person recovers a memory from memory but nevertheless does not experience it as a memory, but as an original idea or experience.
In this case, the person believes they have had an idea for the first time, the result of their creativity and imagination, but does not realize that it is in fact a memory hidden in the memory that they have. he may have thought before or seen or read in another place. .
The capacity for hypermnesia. or hyperthermia, involves remembering or retrieving from memory a much higher amount of memories than most people can access.
People with hypermnesia are very quick to encode, save and retrieve their surroundings.; so that they can remember any situation or experience with an incredible amount of detail and information.
However, it should be noted that this hypermnesia or ability to store a large amount of information is limited to autobiographical memory. That is, in the memory which stores all the aspects or situations that we experience throughout our life.
5. The brain keeps only the important and the mind creates the details
A study conducted at Harvard University, by professor and psychologist Daniel L. Schacter, Revealed that every time our brain retrieves a memory, it changes.
This means that our brain only stores important information or emotional content, but the rest of the details of what is experienced does not come to be stored, added and later invented by our mind.
The purpose of this phenomenon is to avoid overloading the memory with unnecessary details in order to accommodate as much relevant information as possible.
6. Memories depend on context and emotions
Learning and storing memories largely depends on how and where, just as it depends on how we feel.
This means that depending on where we are, it will be much easier for us to retrieve memories of situations experienced in that same place.
With emotions, it works the same way, depending on our mood, the memory will tend to save memories in which we have experienced these emotions.. In other words, when we are happy or joyful, it is easier for us to remember the situations we were in too.