Episodic memory formation involves the hippocampus and the medial temporal lobe. It is used naturally by people – the location and the act of being present at the location trigger the recollection or the memory. For example – You probably remember where you were when you received the news that Michael Jackson had died.
Episodic memory is enhanced by sensory input such as sights, sounds, smells, taste and touch.
Studies have shown that the visual system has both ‘what’(content) and ‘where’ (location) pathways (Kosslyn 1992). This information, some researchers believe is processed by the hippocampus. Learning and memory are prompted by a specific location or a circumstance if the person was actually present. The life experiences we have are contextually embedded; asking yourself where you were when an experience occurred is likely to enable you to recall the experience.
Reflexive memory is a type of implicit (embedded) memory. Reflexive memory pathways can be either emotional memories ( eg. First day at school) or nonemotional associative memories. New learning can become reflexive through intense sensory input or through repetition.
Reflexive memory can produce reflexive responses, for example a breast feeding mother will often produce milk when she hears the sound of a crying baby, even if the baby is not hers. Reflexive memories are stored in the frontal lobe, in the parietal lobe and the cerebellum. Muscles are activated by an electrical impulse that travels through the spinal cord and along nerve pathways to the muscle..
Procedural memory is another type of implicit memory. Procedural memory is also referred to as motor memory, body learning or habit memory. Procedural memory is demonstrated by verbal responses, actions and behaviours. An example of Procedural Memory is driving a manual car for the first time in many years. Once you have learned how to drive a manual car, you are able to use the gears properly without practice, despite not having done so for a significant period of time. Procedural memory appears to need minimal review and little intrinsic motivation.
The brain perceives the brain and the body as one whole, and as a result what happens to the body, also happens to the brain. This creates a more detailed ‘map’ for the brain to use as storage and retrieval (Squire 1992). Memories of learned skills involve the striatum, the pons, the globus pallidus and the cerebellum (Duyon & Ungerleider 2002)
EMOTIONS and MEMORY:
The correlation between the strength of the original emotional event and the likelihood of the retrieval of that event is very high, approximately 90% (Christianson & Loftus 1990).
Norepinephrine, a hormone released from the endings of sympathetic nerves in response to events perceived as having increased risk, excitement or urgency acts as a memory fixative, locking up memories of exciting or traumatic events (Cahill et al. 1994).
REFERENCES: What’s Your Style -J Joseph, Teaching with the Brain in Mind – E Jensen, The Great Memory Book – E Jensen
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