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How the brain remembers and erases information

How does the brain work? Can you help it remember the information or get rid of the unnecessary? Is it possible to agree with it or at least understand its rules of the game? And although there are more questions than answers, such methods exist.

The first bad piece of news which all neuroscientists, neurolinguists and neuroscientists have come to, is that we belong to the brain, and not the brain belongs to us. Chernigov, Anokhin, and Bekhtereva speak about this in their lectures.

Next piece of news: the brain is lazy, selective, and besides, it is a skilled deceiver. It gives us false memories, changes the picture of the past, plunges into a state of deja vu. Memory is one of the functions of the brain, and its example clearly shows how difficult its character is.

How the brain remembers information

It turns out our brain is emotional and curious. If you surprise it (it means, you should surprise yourself), then the brain will remember this information. But the game on the Stanislavsky system will not work, surprise should be real. If you were struck by the information itself -

"How! The sea cucumber, escaping from enemies, throws out its insides! ”- then, most likely, this fact will be remembered. Or try to give some emotional coloring to the information: “Ugh, how nasty it is to spit your intestines!” The brain remembers the emotionally colored event better.

The brain needs to be convinced that you really need this information. And it will have to repeat this more than once.

You: “I need this!”

Brain: “Well, you don't!”

You: “Still need!”

Brain: “Or maybe not?”

Who is more stubborn, wins. For those who really need to remember when the Kyuchuk-Kaynardzhsky peace treaty was signed, the Ebingauz scheme suits best. Repeat immediately after reading, then repeat in 20 minutes, then in 8 hours and, finally, in 24 hours. If these dates need to be carried through life, then you will have to repeat it in another two weeks and two months later.

In an unequal struggle with the brain, we collect all six senses and use them for memorizing: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell. The more we can connect, the more likely that the brain will remember something. If you are a visual, it is still not superfluous to read out loud, and for the audial it will be good to write down the information. Ideally, it looks like this: you listen to a lecture, write a synopsis, eat a cinnamon bun, smoke a stick of sandalwood, and pet a furry cat (with your foot).

After such a massive attack, leave the brain alone - go to bed. This time is necessary in order to transfer information from short-term memory into long-term one; neurobiologists and the popular wisdom “You can think better after a night’s sleep” also agree on this. But if you are planning to pass the exam and forget everything quickly, then it is not necessary to go to bed.

The brain is a supporter of a healthy lifestyle, it wants us to run, walk or even squat, because physical activity stimulates the birth of new neurons, which are responsible for immediate memorizing. You can grow your new neurons every night, you can move away from the desktop and do a couple of squats, but the staff at the University of Edinburgh suggest that physical exercise performed 4 hours after training will improve memorizing of the material.

How the brain erases information


If you do not use the information - delete.

If you urgently receive new information, the old one is deleted.

But in some cases, it is not bad to erase the information. It is real when you change it at the moment of information retrieval. Bad experience (driving, dating, performance) is replaced by a successful version of the event. If the story was not traumatic, of course. But in this case there are successful experiments, for example, with the US military, who have undergone the operation “Desert Storm”. Against the background of “retrieving” the memories, they took pharmaceuticals that did not allow information to “be recorded again”, and the event was erased from memory.

The brain does not have a special room with memories, so each time it reconstructs an event, it slightly modifies it. In science, this process is called “reconsolidation”. In one of the experiments conducted by the British scientist F. Bartlett, a student drew an ancient Egyptian letter M from memory, and as a result, a year later the letter turned into a cat figure. This happened because each time the brain, referring to the last reconstruction of the memory, enriches it with new experience and new context. This suggests that our brain is creative.

Good news

Memories are not erased and do not disappear. We just lose access to them. Perhaps, a way to restore them will be found soon: the experiments carried out in the Laboratory of Neurobiology of Memory under the direction of K.V. Anokhin speak about it. Experimental chickens, after certain manipulations, restored past experience. And although things are a bit more complicated with people, the memory is worth fighting for, because it is it that makes us who we are.


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