What is the mechanism for forgetting?

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Offline CliffordK

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What is the mechanism for forgetting?
« on: 01/04/2014 21:01:54 »
In psychology, there is a discussion of "short term memory", that which exists for a matter of seconds, and "long term memory"...  which is pretty much everything else.

But is there something in between? 

"Temporary Memory" that gets regularly overwritten?

It seems like there are often a few details to a memory with a few details lacking.  One can reach back in to the memory 3 or 4 days to snag some details. 

But, those memories that last for a year, or a decade seem to require some kind of special significance or perhaps an emotional connection. 

I would imagine that I learned a lot in my first year Italian course 30 years ago, but there is only one thing I can remember with clarity is an exam question.  I did, however, learn a lot of words, spending hours and hours with flash cards (just remembering doing it, not the actual task).

"Fumi spesso l'erba?", to which I responded "Si, fumo l'erba qualche volta".
Anyway, I had made a minor error and thought the question was:
"Nuoti spesso nei fiumi?"  One letter, and the difference between a noun and a verb makes a big difference.  So, with a little emotional response, that question and a half dozen words got etched into the mind.

On the other hand, on a daily commute, you might remember several details from last day or two, but beyond that only details that reach a special significance.
« Last Edit: 01/04/2014 21:04:07 by CliffordK »