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How does memory work in the brain? Show more Show less
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Human memory is one of the most puzzling mysteries of science. Neuroscientists and psychologists have suggested many theories for its mechanism, but substantiating these theories with concrete evidence is difficult. How do our brains enable us to remember?

One of the most complicated memory processes is retrieval Show more Show less

Perhaps the most relevant aspect of memory to our daily lives is remembering information.
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Improving memory

Recalling and utilizing information is crucial to our lives, and many strategies can help improve memory storage and recall.

The Argument

Almost everyone could benefit from a better memory. It might allow us to become smarter, do better on an assessment, be more efficient, or just accomplish tasks better. One way to achieve this is known as the testing effect. Periodic and frequent "tests" while learning knowledge helps the information be encoded better because it refires the neurons and strengthens the neural pathway. This can also be accomplished by spacing the learning of information out over a longer time period, instead of learning it all in one sitting.[1] Memorization can be improved through the utilization of deep processing. Whereas shallow processing is the processing of information at the surface level, deep (or semantic) processing encodes information more effectively by focusing on it in a more considered and focused way. This ingrains the information deeper in the brain and makes the neural networks of the memory stronger, and therefore easier to recall. To process deeply, memorize information based upon its deeper meaning or implication, not its surface-level facts. [2]

Counter arguments

Although these methods might work sometimes, they really aren't reliable. Some people simply have good memories, and some don't. Memory is something one is born with and it is hardwired into our brain, and cannot be improved significantly through special tricks or methods.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Memories are stored on neural networks. [P2] Stronger neural networks are more easily remembered. [P3] Methods to strengthen neural networks can improve recall.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] Methods cannot significantly change neural networks, and are ineffective at improving memory.

References

  1. https://bokcenter.harvard.edu/how-memory-works#:~:text=There%20are%20three%20main%20processes,through%20which%20information%20is%20learned.
  2. https://www.psychologistworld.com/memory/influential-memory-psychology-studies-experiments

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This page was last edited on Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 01:00 UTC

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