Thursday, January 5, 2017

Short-term Memory

Short-term memory most likely is involved primarily in the short-term storage of information lasting from thirty seconds to several days, but does not entail the manipulation or organization of material held in memory as does working memory. Different parts of the brain are involved in different types of memory. For example, short-term memory primarily takes place in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex. If the information is designed to be stored long term, it passes through the hippocampus and is then transferred to the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in language and perception for permanent storage. No surprise, the hippocampus (think ‘search engine’) is also involved in attempting to retrieve the stored information. Because short-term memories typically need to be recalled for a much shorter amount of time (where did you park your car?) than long-term memories, the brain’s ability to store short-term items is more limited. Paying mindful awareness can assist in maintaining short term memory (finding your car after a store-shopping spree). Short-term memory loss may be observed when a person can recall something that happened 15 years ago but cannot recall what happened 15 minutes ago. Insufficient supplies of oxygen to the brain can negatively impact short-term memory along with alcohol and drug abuse, concussions and other trauma to the head, medical conditions such as seizures, epilepsy, and depression. 

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