How Memories in the Brain Can Be Formed?

Memory loss, or reduced memory ability, is associated with age. However, there are still some things that can trigger memory loss, such as stress, impaired nerve function (Alzheimer's), hormones, and the environment. Actually, do you know how a memory in the brain is formed? How can you remember memories that happened many years ago?

The process of memory formation

Memories are formed from the moment we are born and will continue to form as long as we live. The hippocampus is a part of the brain located in the temporal lobe of the brain, which plays a role in maintaining memory. Researchers state that each cell is used to store one memory or memory. When there is a stimulus from the environment, memory will be formed through three stages, namely:

  • The learning stage is the process in which information is received by the body's senses
  • The retention stage is the process of information being stored by the brain
  • Then, the retrieval stage is to recall previously stored memories and form new memories.
  • Short term memory vs long term memory

Sensory memory or memory records information from stimuli received from the environment, through the help of the five senses. If the stimuli in the environment are ignored, not seen, not smelled, or not heard by the senses, then memory will not be formed. Conversely, if the stimulus is noticed and then recorded by the senses, it will be transmitted to the nervous system and will become a short-term memory.

Short-term memory can only remember for 30 seconds and can only receive as much as 7 pieces of information in one memory. This memory has a small capacity, but it is very influential in our daily lives. By relying on short-term memory, the body will carry out various responses and respond to external stimuli.

After short-term memory is formed, information that is repeated over and over again will enter the long-term memory system to be stored longer. Memories that enter long-term memory will not be forgotten if new information comes in. Like when we first learn to tie shoelaces, that moment becomes a short-term memory.

Then, if every day we always tie our shoelaces, then this will become a long-term memory. Any short-term memory that is 'recall' or repeated, or memory of an important event, will be sent to the long-term memory repository.

A person who has short-term memory loss, will forget what he was doing 5 or 10 minutes ago, but still remember memories from years ago.

5 types of long-term memory in your brain

The following are the types of long-term memory that are formed:

Implicit memory

Or also called subconscious memory or automatic memory. As the name implies, this memory is formed from past memories that occur repeatedly or enter into long-term memory. For example, when you watch a movie over and over again. When you watch the film again, you will subconsciously imagine the next part. Even though you don't mean to 'twist' that part of the film in your head and appear unconsciously.

Procedural memory

Is part of implicit memory or memory that accidentally or unconsciously appears. This memory is responsible for long-term memory related to motor skills. For example, you already know how to walk, a badminton athlete who already knows how to play badminton during a match, and a musician who has memorized how to play his instrument. These things are abilities that are constantly honed and done over and over again, so it doesn't require more effort to 'call' these memories back.

Explicit memory

In contrast to implicit memory, this memory requires more effort to bring back past memories, even requires a trigger to remember something. Like remembering birthdays and dates, or remembering people's names and faces.

Semantic memory

Namely memories that are not related to an individual's personal experience. Semantic memory consists of things that are generally known, such as the color of the sky, the name of a fruit, how to use a pencil, or the name of a country.

Episodic memory

It is a unique 'collection' that exists in each individual due to experiencing a certain event. Like, memories of your 17th birthday, or memories of your first time at school, and so on.

Various theories state that the electrical conduction of synapses (nerve terminals that connect between nerve cells) functions to store, form, recall existing memories, to respond to stimuli when these memories appear. However, the stages of the process of memory formation are still unclear.

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