What do we know about the Memory? Is everything we memorize the result of a conscious process? What types of memory are known? Let’s see a brief explanation to better understand these issues.
What is memory?
From a neuropsychological point of view, memory could be defined as the cognitive function that allows us to store content in our mind after performing an information encoding process. When we remember, we are referring to stored content – that is, everything that we have memorized.
But memory does not refer to the past only because it is also linked to the present and the future, because thanks to it we know who we are or what we will do based on what we know. You could say that thanks to her we make one identity.
Are all mnemonic processes conscious?
Many associations, facts, learnings, etc. that we store in our memory are unaware. Memory is a capacity of which many aspects are still unknown. For the moment, two main types of memory are considered, the declarative memory (Aware) and the not declarative (Unconscious), which in turn encompasses various types of memory.
the declarative or explicit memory, It is all the knowledge that we can remember and that we can remember in some way. conscious and voluntary. Declarative memory, in turn, encompasses many other types of memories, one of which is memory in short term, Which is responsible for immediately registering something that we have just perceived (for example, remembering a phone number), the downside is that, as we have seen, it quickly fades and is very sensitive to interference. On the other hand, we have a memory long term, Involved in personal experiences and specific events with a spatio-temporal reference (episodic or autobiographical memory) and the knowledge of the general culture that we have (semantic memory).
This type of conscious memory tends to be impaired in neurodegenerative processes such as dementia, in which the person may not remember situations, places, objects, people, etc., which they remembered perfectly before. the deterioration.
However, memory is not only a process that we are aware of, but there is also a type of unconscious memory.
Non-declarative memory and implicit memory
the non-declarative memory O implicit memory, It is the one that is governed by a few involuntary and unconscious mechanisms storage. The evocation is done by perceptual-motor acts which require attention but are not directly accessible to consciousness, that is to say that knowledge is only accessible by the execution of a procedure in which knowledge is impregnated, unlike explicit memory, whose content can be declared consciously and voluntarily.
Generally, memorization and learning through unconscious memory is a process that is internalized with practice and takes time, unlike declarative memory, in which learning is usually rapid and only one attempt can result. Let’s look at an example of this, specifically the procedural memory; suppose we wanted to learn how to drive a car, every time we train to take the car, the connections between the neurons in this motor zone will be strengthened and these skills will be recorded subconsciously, the same will happen to us if any of the things that we want to learn is a question of parking, we will realize that with practice we will do this same action but more quickly and skillfully. This type of memory can be found in thousands of everyday events, like making a potato omelet, dancing samba, or just typing on a cell phone.
Another very interesting type of implicit memory is the known one classic packaging, As it is common to make associations and unconscious learning, such as associating a smell with a person or a sound with a memory, which will cause positive or negative emotions by involuntarily remembering this experience.
It’s amazing how people who have suffered amnesia (Partial or total memory loss) keep your implicit memory preserved. This is because the implicit memory is stored in different structures used by declarative memory, which is governed primarily by the seahorse.
For the moment, and in conclusion, one can think of the existence of a great variety of memories, of the conscious and unconscious type, and that many things which we remember, like the most distant memories, do not have. not a single warehouse. But, once consolidated, they are distributed throughout the cerebral cortex according to the degree of consolidation and the type of information processed.