Exploring Human Memory and Understanding The Human Tendency of Forgetting

Main Article Content

Delisha Nair


Memory is a vast and complex branch of human cognition that is pivotal to the understanding of human beings. In fact, the topic of memory is so extensive that there are three different types of memory: sensory memory, short-term memory and long- term memory. Each type of memory is different on how much information can be stored and for how long, with sensory memory holding the least amount of information and for the shortest amount of time, and long-term memory holding the most amount of information and for the longest amount of time. However, it does not end there as there are multiple divisions of long-term memory: explicit and implicit, which each branch out into further, more specific types of memories. It should come to no one's surprise that with the brain having to store and remember so many different memories, it will forget some in the process of recalling others. To explain the process of forgetting and recalling, theories, like: Interference Theory, Decay Theory of Forgetting, Retrieval Failure Theory and Cue Dependent Theory. However, when a memory is forgotten, it is not removed from your long term memory; forgetting typically has to do with a failure of memory retrieval. Now, in order to help one's brain remember and recall all of the memories, there are various different kinds of techniques that people can employ to improve their memory. These range all the way from exercising the brain by playing puzzles to changing one's diet by incorporating less sugar in their meals. However, ti is important to note that no matter how hard one tries, the brain is still limited on how many memories it can store, even fi that limit is extensive.

Article Details

Review Articles
Author Biography

Delisha Nair, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Delisha Nair is a freshman majoring in Brain and Cognitive Science on the pre- med track and exploring the possibility of a Spanish minor and/or Health Administration minor. She is an aspiring surgeon hoping to specialize in neurosurgery. She devotes most of her time to running her photography business, being the Volunteering Chair for American Medical Students Association, and volunteering weekly at the Carle Foundation Hospital. In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin, drawing/painting, swimming, watching her favorite shows and spending quality time with friends and family.