Thursday, December 19, 2013

Long Term Memory

Although the brain quickly purges most unimportant short term memory, it stores the important ones – those that are emotionally compelling or personally meaningful.

That stored information is long term memory. It is the total of what you know: a compendium of data ranging from name, address, and phone number and the names of friends and relatives to more complex information, such as the sounds and images of events that happened decades ago.

It also includes the routines information you use every day, like how to make coffee, operate your computer and carry out all the intricate behavioral sequences involves in performing your job or running your household.

Your long-term memory and short-term memory are not distinguished merely by how long the memories last.

Another difference is the amount of information the brain can handle. Although the brain can juggle only a relatively small number of short term memories at a time, it can store a virtually unlimited number of long term memories.

Barring disease or injury, you can always learn and retain something new. Furthermore, long term memories are less fragile that short term memories, which means they’re not lost when something interrupts your train of thought.

Previously learned long term memories even tend to remain intact in the early stages of dementia, when patients have trouble learning new information.
Long Term Memory