Once useful data and information from short term memory is transferred to long term memory, the information stays there regardless of whether the person retrieves it or not. As researchers are unable to measure the amount of memory that a brain can store, it is assumed that information stored in long term memory is infinite and occurs continuously. Simple daily living activities, such as taking a driving, cooking, shower, dressing or even brushing teeth is dependent on long term memory. Even past experiences are stored in long term memory.
Information stored in long term memory is highly organized. This helps a person retrieve a memory when required. Usually, when a memory transitions into long term memory, it is associated with similar memories already present in the brain. This association helps in easy storage of information, as similar information is stored together. For instance, apples and peach would be stored together as they are both fruits. When a person wants to remember some information or data, the brain looks for associations in order to bring the required data or information to the consciousness.
Long term memory is subdivided into three types, namely procedural, episodic and semantic memory. As the name suggests, procedural memory helps a person to do things, such as riding a bicycle, brushing teeth, typing shoe laces or driving. This kind of memory does not require conscious recall and can be retrieved implicitly. Episodic memory helps a person to recall experiences, events or situations that occurred in the past. Along with the event or situation, even other circumstances get stored in the brain. This is why a person can remember certain incidents from their childhood or school life. Finally, semantic memory helps a person remember learned facts, such as meanings of words, addresses, birthdays and things that they study.
When it comes to episodic and semantic memories, they are considered as explicit memories, as a person has to consciously make an effort to recall them. A person cannot recall these memories implicitly like he/she would recall procedural memories.Even today researchers are trying to understand how the complex functioning of memories occurs in the brain. While there is so much information available on information storage in long term memory, there is still a lot that is not known. Hopefully, as science makes advances, more and more technologies will be developed that will help scientists unravel the mysterious world of long term memories and the way the brain stores and retrieves these memories.
More Articles :