In the course of life, man inevitably undergoes an innumerable amount of events and experiences. The memory of these experiences makes the man and shapes him in his later life. This means that remembering is decisively involved in developments and changes - consciously or subconsciously.

What is remembering?

The memory of various experiences makes the man and shapes him in his later life. Remembering is thus decisively involved in developments and changes.

Mistakes are there to learn from. Memory and remembering are partly responsible for this. The term refers to the storage and retrieval of past events. These are subdivided into experiences (episodes) and the knowledge about these experiences (events).

Remembering can be active or passive. Active recourse to the memory takes place when the human consciously tries to remember something of the past. The reasons for this can vary, but are often related to narratives about the past or the recapitulation of what happened.

The passive and spontaneous memory, however, happens at random. This can happen when certain connections in the brain are triggered by associations, similar situations arise again or a certain feeling is repeatedly caused.

Memories are consistently subjective and manipulatable. They are accompanied by the assessment and evaluation of experiences. Some anchor points remain in memory, things that seem important and trigger emotions.

Disasters, global events and private events that touch emotionally or remain active for a long time are stored in the long-term memory. It also depends on a person's current condition, what it stores and what the brain selects and considers unimportant.

Function & Task

Memories are not static, but changeable. Above all, they fulfill an important social function. In social life and everyday life, it is not always relevant what really happened: Conversations about the past and the mutual influencing of memories often characterize the social interaction and thus friendships and acquaintances.

In addition, remembering plays a significant role in growing up. If man makes mistakes that put a strain on him or cause unpleasant consequences, he will remember that. This reminder inevitably triggers a negative feeling and at best prevents the same mistakes from being committed again. Thus memory is a basic part of the learning process.

Remembering, experiences and events make man what he is. The past determines how a person is in the present, what experiences he has made and how he dealt with them.

Moreover, memory only makes interaction with other people possible. If the brain erased what was experienced immediately, humans would not remember persons. And that does not just apply to people, but to everything that seems natural in everyday life: remembering places, traveling, your own home, events, meetings - right up to the place where the fridge is located. At the same time, humans could not even remember what a refrigerator is used for without remembering. In short, almost no living thing is viable without memories. The range of memory capacity, however, varies from living being to living being.

However, nobody will be able to remember everything he has experienced, since the brain also has limited storage capacity. Unimportant is forgotten over the years to make room for new memories.

Diseases & complaints

There are several factors that influence remembering. Often responsible for this is the current emotional state of the individual at the time of the event or the recording of events. Memories are stored in multimedia. This means they run as images or films in the memory of man. But also odors, feelings and colors are stored.

Long-term memory (episodic memory) compresses the information. In order to resort to this, the brain has to rework the information. In this process, the period between the moment of happening and remembering plays an important role. In the meantime, various factors distort the relative authenticity of the experience.

In addition, an assimilation of various events can occur, which were experienced differently, but have caused similar feelings. The similar perception means that they can no longer be perceived separately from each other later.

A disturbed memory is triggered, for example, by alcohol or drug use. Similarly, memories that have arisen in a hypnosis are not reliable. The same is true for memories of infancy, since the perception is different until the age of three.

A memory is particularly critical when it is associated with strong emotions. Over the years, emotions can accumulate and change. This not only leads to a possibly already falsified recording at the time of the incident, but in the future to an even more disturbed memory.

However, various diseases can affect memory. For example, deficiency symptoms and stress are a frequent reason for memory misfires. In addition to diseases such as dementia, which primarily affect memory, accidents with head trauma or strokes may be reasons for dropouts or amnesia.

This also applies to almost all diseases that affect the brain. Thus, a meningitis can already cause memory loss. In amnesia, the physician distinguishes different degrees of severity. Often the memory loss is short-lived, but sometimes it is irreparable. In this case, the memories can not be restored.

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