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Author Topic: What is memory?  (Read 2272 times)

Andy Sykes

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What is memory?
« on: 22/02/2010 15:30:03 »
Andy Sykes asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Chris,

I really enjoy listening to the podcast of the show, and hope this is not a question which has been asked previously.  

Could you explain at a cellular and biochemical level what a memory is, how we store memories, and how can we recall these many years later?

Regards,

Andy Sykes

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 22/02/2010 15:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline zachary

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What is memory?
« Reply #1 on: 15/06/2010 13:19:31 »
I would like to know as well...
 

Offline FuzzyUK

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What is memory?
« Reply #2 on: 16/06/2010 14:43:32 »
I've forgotten what the question was already. Remind me.
 

Offline Pwee

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What is memory?
« Reply #3 on: 22/06/2010 09:18:29 »
Memory is still one of the unsolved puzzles of modern brain science.

In fact there are many types of memory
Knowing how to ride a bicycle is procedural memory. Knowing the phone number of your friend till you type it in your cell phone is short term memory (or working memory). Knowing who is the president of Hungary is semantic memory. Knowing what you did last summer is episodic autobiographic memory.

All of these memories have different background mechanisms in the brain.
For example working memory is often associated with the frontal lobe and the related sensory cortex for example if you want to remember a phone number for a short time, you will rehearse it in your brain with inner speech. It is thought that you use the prefrontal cortex and the auditory cortex during this procedure.

Most people refer to episodic memory when they say "memory". It means that you remember a thing as an episode (in context) not just the mere facts and data. When you want to recall what you did last summer you will recall images of the summer vacation for example. This long term episodic autobiographic memory is encoded and can be recalled thanks to your hippocampus and other medial temporal structures (brain components in the deeper regions of the temporal lobe). Scientists are pretty sure of that but they are really in the dark right now about how these structures do what they do.

We are only starting to understand the basics of the physiological basis of memory. Memories are encoded by the interconnected networks of neurons, the synapses and the biochemical states of the cells coding the memory.
 

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What is memory?
« Reply #3 on: 22/06/2010 09:18:29 »

 

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