Think you are forgetful?

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Our memory is the brain's ability to recall and recognize impressions, events, facts and ideas. Memory is stored in the pathways of the brain through neurons and gray cells in the brain. When we experience memory loss it is due to damage to these neurons.

Although it is always disheartening when it occurs, memory loss can be combated. In times past, causes for memory loss were seen as the natural outcome of aging, but it has been scientifically proven that this is not true as some oldies are far better than the younger ones at remembering.

Submitted: March 06, 2008

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Submitted: March 06, 2008

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When certain questions are asked in class by lecturers and only some sets of same students that are referred to as “Genius” answer I can’t but feel lost, worthless, dejected and incompetent because I thought I was suffering from memory loss which made it so difficult for me to retrieve learnt lectures.
 
With time,  I found out that they are not all that different from me, it is just the time they have allotted to their studies and the frequent usage of words studied, this gave me hope to do better and not just be like them but more than them
 
 
Our memory is the brain's ability to recall and recognize impressions, events, facts and ideas. Memory is stored in the pathways of the brain through neurons and gray cells in the brain. When we experience memory loss it is due to damage to these neurons.
 
Although it is always disheartening when it occurs, memory loss can be combated. In times past, causes for memory loss were seen as the natural outcome of aging, but it has been scientifically proven that this is not true as some oldies are far better than the younger ones at remembering.
With proper care, a person's memory can be kept active throughout their lifetime, even though memory may slow down and take some time to kick in. However, it is not impossible to stay alert and keep a sharp memory despite everyday stress.
 
 1. A healthy diet for starters is a must. You must be careful to include nutritious and vitamin-rich foods in your diet.
 
2. If you are suffering from cholesterol or high blood pressure, you must be careful to reduce your intake of salt and cut down on rich and fatty foods.
 
3. Adopt an exercise routine, walking, light jogging and swimming are simple ways to keep the body exercised and stress free.
 
The first theory of forgrtfulness is the theory of Decay, which suggests that sensory impressions and acquired knowledge of facts leave memory traces in the brain, which gradually fade causing the loss of information.  This theory states that information retained will eventually be lost as the person ages; the amount of time it takes to forget is entirely dependant on the individual
 
Theory of disuse suggests that decay occurs not because of time but because of the inability to associate or use the information with any other information believed that the memory traces if used constantly or associated with other information would not begin to fade and the memory could be retrieved easily
Both the theory of Decay and the theory of Disuse explain why information is forgotten but neither of the factors in long-term memory, meaning they do not explain why people can recall information from their childhood but forget something that occurred only a few days ago.
Although both of these theories are generally the same except for the causes of loss, decay is more widely believed by many people in today’s societies
 
The second theory is Interference theory, this theory states that once information is properly encoded and stored in long-term memory the information is relatively permanent, but because of interference we are unable to retrieve the information at one time but at another, this is called Recall and Recognition
 
Proactive Interference (PI) which is information retained before the memory you are trying to retrieve and the second type of interference is Retroactive interference (RI) which is the information retained after the memory you are trying to retrieve. A scientist by the name White (1989,) believed that when rare moments occur the human mind is more apt on remembering them to average moments over extended periods of time. This suggests the Importance of interference (especially proactive interference) in the difficulty at recalling episodic events in addition to interference; the human mind is unable to recall long-term memories because of the lack of environmental stimulus.
 
Underwood believed that when people encode information the human mind uses critical features of the event to encode and recall the event at a later time. This explains why people can recall information easier when they are in the same environment when the information was first encoded.
Many psychologists currently believe in the interference theory because it explains why
people can recall memories of their childhood, but it does not explain why it only applies with some memories and not all, they also tend to criticize that much of the work has been on nonsense syllables or unrelated words and its applicability to everyday situations is not yet fully known
 
Another theory called “Motivated Forgetting,” was highly believed by Sigmund Freud, this theory suggest that people forget things because they do not want to remember them for certain reasons another name for this type of forgetting is “repression.” Freud believed that when people have painful or anxiety-arousing episodes, they repress them into their unconscious minds and thereafter have a difficult time retrieving them. Freud believed that any information repressed does not fade away from memory, we may force ourselves to forget them but they still remain in storage and the human mind still has the ability to remember them.
 
Another scientist by the name of Anderson (1995) also believed that repression caused the loss of certain memories, but he believed that repression was caused not by anxiety-arousing episodes, but by post-traumatic shock.
Through his experiments he concluded that many people forgot specific time periods when something traumatizing occurred in their lives. One of his experiments was Sir Ham who could not remember shooting Robert Kennedy
 
Perkins (1993) another scientist who believed repression was cause by post-traumatic shock, experimented with survivors of the Holocaust and discovered that well adjusted survivors were less able to recall their dreams than
less well adjusted survivors when woken.
 
Lastly we have the “Gestalt Theory of Forgetting,” also known as the “False memory
Syndrome (Wulf, 1922.) Wulf’s theory suggests that when memories and information are
encoded with details missing the mind automatically provides that information making it whole. He has no explanations as to where the information is obtained in order to make the memory whole. This theory is highly criticized by many because it suggests that memories if not detailed are changed and no longer accurate.
 
Although forgetting is a natural event, the human mind is capable of recalling information and delaying the loss of memory. In the theory of Disuse, in order to retain the information, it must be in constant use or associated to other information for the memory traces to remain active in the human mind. In the theory of Motivated Forgetting (highly believed by Freud,) a person must want to remember some anxiety-arousing episode in their life, he also states that once information is properly encoded in long-term memory it becomes relatively permanent. The Interference Theory
(Benton J. Underwood) suggests that if information is encoded properly into the human memory, the retrieval of information whether learned early in life or later will be easier to retrieve.
 
So if you really are forgetting anything at all, just give yourself more time and space to think, read till you get to a point when you cannot take in anything into you brain, then you relax and revise to retrieve missing texts.
 
Do not underrate yourself  everyone has got a potential.


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