Human Memory – Far From Understood

Have you ever wondered why Homo sapiens are the dominant species on Earth? Humans are not the strongest nor are we the fastest. We cannot fly or swim without a machine and if confronted with a predator, we would be ill-equipped to defend ourselves without some sort of weapon. Humans dominate the planet because of our intelligence.

Our species can build machines that allow us to hunt, fish, move underwater, and through the air. We can domesticate other animals for our food and service because of our relatively superior intelligence. One of the main reasons that we are more intelligent is because of the power of human memory.

It Sets Us Apart

While there are correlates in the animal world, humans are capable of speech and of holding a tremendous number of unique words in our vocabulary, both spoken and written.

The human brain can form precise memories about social structure, mathematical concepts, and spatial relationships. Through education and training, we can expand and capitalize on our human memory to achieve great things.

Understanding Memory

Memories are created, stored, and recalled by the brain but beyond that, our understanding of human memory is not terribly clear. We do know that certain structures in the brain are critical for forming new memories. The hippocampus, for example, is essential to the formation of new memories and for placing memories into long-term storage.

Humans have one hippocampus on each side of the brain, roughly halfway between the temple and the ear. Only one hippocampus needs to be functional for human memory. If both are damaged, say through surgery or stroke, the person can no longer form new memories lasting longer than a few minutes.

The structures that participate in memory formation beyond the hippocampus are less well understood. Apparently, human memories are not simply stored in discrete regions of the brain such that a small stroke could wipe out second grade.

Rather the anatomical organization of much more complex than that. While the hippocampus is critical for creating human memory, once a memory is created its storage location can only be inferred.

Elephant Memory

Have you ever heard that an elephant never forgets? Perhaps this is because an elephant has an absolutely enormous set of hippocampi (the plural of the hippocampus). Researchers use elephants to study the cellular basis of memory and apply these concepts to human memory.

It has been shown that elephants, especially the dominant female of each social group, are capable of recognizing and storing information about facial identity and retaining that information for many years. This memory allows the clan’s matriarch to identify threats and friendly individuals in the local environment.

While the natural tendency is to say that since the hippocampi of elephants are large, their memories are better or last longer but this is not necessarily the case. It is also true that other regions of the brain are larger in an elephant compared to a human brain. To the credit of this theory, the hippocampi in elephants are proportionally large, even for such a large animal and brain.

Human intelligence is integrally dependent on human memory and our success on the planet is due, in large part to our ability to remember large quantities of information throughout our lives.

Looking To Improve Your Memory?

Improved memory can help you in many facets of your life. Having greater and quicker recall will give you an incredible advantage at school and at work. If you are looking for that advantage through increased memory there are three systems that I would highly encourage you to look at:

  • Roth Memory Course – This is actually three courses in one. Mammoth memory teaches you how to increase your recall through many different techniques like ‘Association’ and training your sensory memory. Mammoth Memory actually comes with 2 other courses FREE, Power Thinking and Lazy Learning, which give you practical tools to increase your cognitive skills and absorption. Check out their free preview!

  • Memory Dojo – Infinite Memory at Will!: – Another extensive offering that includes loads of bonus material. At the core Infinite memory teaches you how to train your brain to remember using 5 central techniques or ‘systems’; Link, Room, Alphabet, Phonetic, and Body. Ryan Cameron, the author, believes (as do I) that the brain; ready has the ability and capacity to be an incredible recall machine, it’s simply a matter of re-asserting that ability. Take a look, and notice all the bonus material, it’s a great value!
  • Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More, and Be More Productive – This is a combination of books and software. It was designed to get results with a minimal time investment, 5 minutes a day. But of course, there is no free lunch. You need to be extremely consistent with your training. This resource centers around 12 memory techniques and is bundled with the Classic Roth Memory Course, among many¬†other bonuses.

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