Memory - How Does It Really Work and How Can We Improve It?

Who I am
Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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wikipedia.org

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It is often said that a person is the sum of his memories. We are who we are because
we have a past and we remember it in every moment. When we have to take
an important decision, the first thing we do is go back in
time to look for similar situations and analyze how we behaved
so.

In any case, even if we resort to the
memory every day, this does not mean that we understand well how it works.
In fact, psychologists have only recently been rediscovering this function
psychological. If we understand how ours works
memory, we can improve it. In this regard, we are now going to analyze
some of the common myths related to how memory works .: 1. Memory deteriorates over time. Who has not experienced the
frustration of searching through the memory and not being able to find the memory that
He was looking for? When we say: “I have it
on the tip of the tongue ”because we are sure that the memory is there
somewhere but we are unable to recall it. From this perspective, it may seem
very obvious that the memory deteriorates over time, However, every day new
studies show that our memory has the extraordinary ability to record
practically everything we experience, the problem lies in the fact that after
we are unable to recall the memory. Basically, it's like we have a huge
store of memories available but to the same extent that this is filling up,
it becomes increasingly difficult to access some "shelves". At this point there
you are wondering what is the point of recording everything if we can't
call back. Herein lies the answer. 2. Forgetfulness helps us learn. The idea that we forget something there
help to learn may seem counterintuitive, but just imagine what a mess
we would have it in our minds if we could remember every detail of ours
life in every moment. Our memory chooses the most important memories, either
emotionally and cognitively, and gives them priority over others. In
this way, we can immediately access these contents and
use them to learn other things. It is a similar phenomenon to how
we organize the icons on our computer screen. Normally we put
on the desktop only the programs and folders that are most used to us. In
this way, when we need to use them we have them at hand.
However, in our computer we have a lot more data even if it is not
all immediately available on the screen. 3. “Lost” memories can be recovered. If we start from the
assuming we have stored pretty much everything we have
lived in a certain part of memory, then it is easy to understand that,
with the proper techniques, we can remember anything. Sometimes that's enough
try a little, at other times more complex techniques may be needed
such as hypnosis. 4. When we recall a memory we are altering it. We tend to think
to the memory as to a department store where we let the memories rest and
these remain there, faithful and unalterable. Either way, the reality is well
different, our memory is creative and sometimes mixes information, takes away
and adds details. Whenever we bring to mind a
remember, this consolidates and becomes stronger, compared to the rest of the
information that remains stored. For example, let's imagine we remember
a gift that was given to us when we were six or seven. In the same
extent to which we focus on this gift the memory of other gifts
it will go dimming. And while we will more remember the situation in which we received
the gift in question, the more we will be rebuilding our memory of
birthdays as we will be prioritizing some experiences over
other. In fact, it is now known that it is possible to implant false memories. 5. The memory "reloads". Let's imagine we want to learn a
play handball. It would be better to dedicate the first week to learning
the launch, the one after the reception and so on later or better
mix all the techniques trying to learn them together? According to experts, it is better to mix
techniques so as to better memorize the movements. And the same goes for the
declarative memory; that is, to learn the contents we are taught
at school . Because? The explanation is very simple: everything
seems to indicate that every time we change activities to focus on another,
our memory suffers a sort of "recharge". Let's say, it's like everyone
the memories we were working with shifted to a second floor to reload
new and more relevant information with the activity we are carrying out
now.
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