Memory is essential for human life.  Memory causes us to remember complex concepts for tests and simple everyday tasks.  Some older memories can be so vivid and detailed as if it happened a few minutes ago, while others are blurry or misplaced all together.  What causes our brain to decide which memories to store in detail and which to throw away? When I think about my past memories, most of them are ones that I hold very dear and want to last a lifetime.  Others, however, are moments like, nationwide tragedies, that haunt my mind.  For example, last year on Valentine’s Day, I remember my mother was washing the dishes when I had walked into my kitchen and found out about the Florida school shooting.  I remember in detail what happened a year ago, but I do not remember what outfit I wore yesterday.  The school shooting is something that impacted me and put our nation into a shock for several months. My outfit yesterday, however, had no effect on my or anyone else’s life at all.  I believe events that shape us as a person and the country as a nation are the ones that our brain decides to keep.  The everyday activities that are unimportant and useless to our future are ones that our brain decides to throw away.  There is also only so much space our brain can hold for memories, so as we make more, the unimportant ones fade away or become blurry. However, the ones that have shaped us as unique person or our country as a nation are the ones that stick with us forever.           


One thought on “Memory

  1. Hi Emily!
    Our brains do indeed tend to remember events and information with a lot of meaning. A similar concept to this is deep processing, which produces the best retention rates because it is processing based on the meaning of words. So, if the words work together to provide meaning to us, then we are more likely to remember them. This meaning can make a memory explicit, so we can consciously remember and describe the memory.
    Your example in your post is a good representation of these concepts; you are able to remember what you were doing last Valentine’s Day, but the clothes you were wearing the day before you made the post have slipped your mind. This is, as you suggested, due to the FL shooting being more impactful to you and how you will remember that time, whereas your clothing choice did not give your day much more meaning.

    A very insightful first impression!


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