What Parts Of The Brain Control Memory


Share post:

What Part Of The Brain Controls Long Term Memory

Short term or working memory in the brain – Intro to Psychology

The study of memory necessitates the study of the brain. Memories are created in, stored in, and affected by different parts of the brain:

  • Neocortex. This is the brains wrinkly-looking outer layer. It stores memories.
  • Hippocampus. This is involved in converting our perceptions into long-term memories. The right posterior section is involved in spatial navigation, which, as well see, is an important aspect of memory.
  • Medial temporal lobe. This contains the hippocampus and is involved with long-term memory.
  • Basil ganglia. This is involved in learning habits.
  • Cerebellum. This is involved in learning motor skills.
  • Frontal and parietal cortices. These are involved with recalling long-term memories.

When we use our brains, they physically changewe can form new neurons and rearrange connections. This is known as neuroplasticity. For example, neuroscientist Eleanor Maguire studied the brains of London cabbies-in-training. She found that their right posterior hippocampi were 7% larger than the average persons because they spent so much time memorizing the layout of the city. This is a fascinating insight into what part of the brain controls long term memory.

Which Is Part Of The Brain Orchestrates Creative Processes

There is a very widespread neuromyth and it is the following: the right hemisphere is the one that orchestrates the creative processes, while the left is the logical one.

Which is part of the brain controls movement?

These three parts control processes in the body, including movement, memory, and thinking. The cerebrum makes up more than 85% of the brains weight. Its the part of the brain that controls daily activities such as reading, learning, and speech. It also assists planned muscle movements such as walking, running and body movement.

The Old Brain: Wired For Survival

The brain stem is the oldest and innermost region of the brain. Its designed to control the most basic functions of life, including breathing, attention, and motor responses . The brain stem begins where the spinal cord enters the skull and forms the medulla, the area of the brain stem that controls heart rate and breathing. In many cases the medulla alone is sufficient to maintain life animals that have the remainder of their brains above the medulla severed are still able to eat, breathe, and even move. The spherical shape above the medulla is the pons, a structure in the brain stem that helps control the movements of the body, playing a particularly important role in balance and walking.

Running through the medulla and the pons is a long, narrow network of neurons known as the reticular formation. The job of the reticular formation is to filter out some of the stimuli that are coming into the brain from the spinal cord and to relay the remainder of the signals to other areas of the brain. The reticular formation also plays important roles in walking, eating, sexual activity, and sleeping. When electrical stimulation is applied to the reticular formation of an animal, it immediately becomes fully awake, and when the reticular formation is severed from the higher brain regions, the animal falls into a deep coma.

You May Like: Can Women Take Alpha Brain

Where Does The Brain Store Long

An internal filing system sorts events for short- or long-term use

When the now-famous neurological patient Henry Molaison had his brains hippocampus surgically sectioned to treat seizures in 1953, sciences understanding of memory inadvertently received perhaps its biggest boost ever. Molaison lost the ability to form new memories of events, and his recollection of anything that had happened during the preceding year was severely impaired. Other types of memory such as learning physical skills were unaffected, suggesting the hippocampus specifically handles the recall of eventsknown as episodic memories.

Further research on other patients with hippocampal damage confirmed recent memories are more impaired than distant ones. It appears the hippocampus provides temporary storage for new information whereas other areas may handle long-term memory. Events that we are later able to remember appear to be channeled for more permanent storage in the cortex . In the cortex these memories form gradually, becoming integrated with related information to build lasting knowledge about ourselves and the world.

Episodic memories that are intended for long-term storage accumulate to form the autobiographical memory that is so essential for our sense of identity. Neuroscientists know a lot about how short-term memories are formed in the brain but the processes underlying long-term storage are still not well understood.

The Cerebellum’s Inner And Outer Layers

What Part Of The Brain Controls Short

Like the cerebrum, the cerebellum has two layers: one inner and one outer. The outer layer is called the cerebellar cortex. Like the cerebral cortex, it is full of gray matter. Functions such as movement, motor learning, balance and posture happen here.

Underneath the cortex lies the cerebellum’s white matter. Called “arbor vitae” for its appearance, the cerebellum’s white matter contains cerebellar nuclei. These neurons are vital because they relay information between the cerebral cortex and the peripheral nervous system to assist in learning and cognitive functions, motor control, balance and coordination.

Read Also: What Type Of Seizures Affect Both Sides Of The Brain

First Anatomical And Functional Evidence

Another author of the research named Nathan Cashdollar, points out that although other recent observations had already begun to challenge the classic distinction between short-term and long-term memory and its relationship with the hippocampus, this theory has been maintained for almost half a century.

The importance of the results obtained in this research is that they represent the first anatomical and functional evidence of the mechanisms that are shared in the formation of short and long-term memories, and which are independent in said formation.

Thanks to them, it is now known that there are two distinct networks on which short-term memory is based. One functions independently of the hippocampus, and therefore is not affected by disorders that affect this region of the brain, while the other depends on it.

The results of this research have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

What Are The Areas Of The Cerebral Cortex

Some researchers look at the brain in another way and classify the areas of the cerebral cortex by their three main types of functions: sensory, motor and association areas.

Sensory areas: These areas of your cerebral cortex receive sensory information from your senses and your environment. Functions include:

  • Making sense of visual information and object recognition. These functions are processed by an area of your occipital lobe called the visual cortex.
  • Assessing touch, temperature, position, vibration, pressure and pain information from your body. These functions are processed by an area of your parietal lobe called the somatosensory cortex.
  • Processing hearing information. This function is processed by an area of your temporal lobe called the auditory cortex.
  • Processing taste and flavor. These functions are processed by an area of your frontal lobe called the gustatory cortex.

Motor areas: These areas of your cerebral cortex are involved in voluntary muscle movement. These functions are processed mainly by your frontal lobe. Functions include:

  • Coordination of muscle movement.
  • Planning of complex movements.
  • Learning through imitation and empathy.

Association areas: These areas are spread throughout all four lobes and connect and add complexity to functions. Functions include:

Don’t Miss: Mbsr Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Assembling A Brain In The Laboratory

Hebbian synapses have also been demonstrated in another kind of laboratory, where computer scientists and engineers have built them into a computer chip. The device is a simple one, with only 16 synapses, but it performs Hebbian learning quite efficiently, at the rate of a million times per second. Newer chips have already been developed to represent more realistic neurons, with many thousands of synapses and technology to represent the connections between such neurons will make the assembly of something more nearly resembling a working brain a little easier to envision. Such a device will have to combine analog signals, like those propagated within neurons, and digital signals, the off or on impulses transmitted from one neuron to another. It will not be simply a larger, or even an unbelievably faster, version of today’s familiar computer.

The field of artificial perception already boasts chips developed at the California Institute of Technology that are capable of much of the sensory processing performed just outside the brain by the retina, for example, and by the cochlea, the spiral passage of the inner ear whose hair cells respond to vibrations by sending impulses to the auditory nerve. Now in development as well are chips to simulate some of the functions of the visual cortex others, with some of the memory-storing capacity of the hippocampus, are being scaled up, closer to the dimensions of a living system.

Learning Recalling And Thinking

Your Brain is You: Learning and Memory (Part 5 of 6)

The brain regulates an array of functions necessary to survival: the action of our five senses, the continuous monitoring of the spatial surround, contraction and relaxation of the digestive muscles, the rhythms of breathing and a regular heartbeat. As the vital functions maintain their steady course without our conscious exertion, we are accustomed to consider the brain as preeminently the organ of thought. The brain houses our mind and our memories, and we rely on its information-processing capacities when we set out to learn something new.

But where in the brain can we locate memory or thought itself? offered some clues about the ways scientific investigationfrom the molecular level to studies of the alert, behaving animalhas begun to define in physical terms an abstract quality such as “attention.” Similar techniques and approaches are being applied to other mental functions, too, even those as seemingly intangible as learning, remembering, or thinking about the outside world.

Learning and memory, which for many years were considered central problems in psychology, the social sciences, and philosophy, have recently assumed greater importance in the area of neurobiology, itself a confluence of several lines of investigation.

Most available evidence suggests that the functions of memory are carried out by the hippocampus and other related structures in the temporal lobe.

Also Check: Mental Health Counselor Cover Letter

What Is The Cerebral Cortex

Your cerebral cortex is the outermost layer of your brain. Its surface has many folds, giving it a wrinkled appearance. The folds consist of many deep grooves called sulci and raised areas called gyri. These folds add to the surface area of your cerebral cortex, allowing large amounts of information to be processed by more nerve cells. Your cerebral cortex makes up about half of your brains total mass.

Your cerebral cortex consists of six layers of nerve cells that contain between 14 billion and 16 billion nerve cells. Its two millimeters to four mm thick.

Your cortex is divided into four lobes: frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital. Each of these lobes is responsible for processing different types of information. Collectively, your cerebral cortex is responsible for the higher-level processes of the human brain, including language, memory, reasoning, thought, learning, decision-making, emotion, intelligence and personality.

Where Do Emotions Come From

The limbic system is a group of interconnected structures located deep within the brain. Its the part of the brain thats responsible for behavioral and emotional responses.

Scientists havent reached an agreement about the full list of structures that make up the limbic system, but the following structures are generally accepted as part of the group:

  • Hypothalamus. In addition to controlling emotional responses, the hypothalamus is also involved in sexual responses, hormone release, and regulating body temperature.
  • Hippocampus. The hippocampus helps preserve and retrieve memories. It also plays a role in how you understand the spatial dimensions of your environment.
  • Amygdala. The amygdala helps coordinate responses to things in your environment, especially those that trigger an emotional response. This structure plays an important role in fear and anger.
  • Limbic cortex. This part contains two structures, the cingulate gyrus and the parahippocampal gyrus. Together, they impact mood, motivation, and judgement.

Don’t Miss: North Central Missouri Mental Health

Neurons And Glial Cells

The human brain has about 80-100 billion neurons, and roughly the same of glial cells. Neurons and glial cells help coordinate and transport signals within the human nervous system. While neurons communicate and receive information with cells, glial cells protect and support neurons in completing their mission.

How Does A Person Learn And Remember New Things

How the Human Brain Creates Memories and Processes Thoughts

There are many different theories about how people learn and remember new information, but one of the most widely accepted theories is that learning and memory are controlled by the brain. The brain is made up of many different parts, each of which plays a role in learning and memory. For example, the hippocampus is a part of the brain that is essential for forming new memories. damage to the hippocampus can lead to problems with memory.

Don’t Miss: Serenity Mental Health Centers Denver

Emotions And False Memories

A flashbulb memory is a highly detailed, exceptionally vivid episodic memory of the circumstances surrounding a piece of surprising, consequential, or emotionally arousing news was heard. However, even flashbulb memories can have decreased accuracy with the passage of time, even with very important events. For example, on at least three occasions, when asked how he heard about the terrorist attacks of 9/11, President George W. Bush responded inaccurately. In January 2002, less than 4 months after the attacks, the then sitting President Bush was asked how he heard about the attacks. He responded:

I was sitting there, and my Chief of Staffwell, first of all, when we walked into the classroom, I had seen this plane fly into the first building. There was a TV set on. And you know, I thought it was pilot error and I was amazed that anybody could make such a terrible mistake.

Contrary to what President Bush recalled, no one saw the first plane hit, except people on the ground near the twin towers. The first plane was not videotaped because it was a normal Tuesday morning in New York City, until the first plane hit.

Why Is The Cerebral Cortex Called Gray Matter

The gray matter found in the outer layer of your brain consists of nerve cell bodies, including the end portion of nerves called dendrites. Dendrites are the part of a nerve cell that receives the chemical message from another cell. Your cerebral cortex is gray because that section of the nerve lacks the fatty covering material called myelin.

White matter in your brain is made up of bundles of axons, the long center section of a nerve cell thats wrapped in myelin. The myelin gives the tissue its whitish color.

Don’t Miss: Mri Brain With And Without Contrast

What Part Of The Brain Controls Memory

The human brain is an incredibly complicated and diverse organ. One of its many roles is to help you form memories. Memory can be defined as the ability to remember things that happen in your life, and its a skill that we all need to use on a daily basis. Did you know, though, that theres only one part of the brain that controls your memory?

What Are The Functions Of The Cerebral Cortex

Neuroscience Basics: Human Brain Anatomy and Lateralization of Brain Function, 3D Animation.

Your cerebral cortex is involved in many high-level functions, such as reasoning, emotion, thought, memory, language and consciousness. Each lobe of your brain is associated with different functions.

Functions of the frontal lobe

Your frontal lobe is at the front of your brain behind your forehead. Functions of your frontal lobe include:

  • Visual world mapping.

Functions of the parietal lobe

Your parietal lobe is located between your frontal and occipital lobes and above your temporal lobe. Functions of your parietal lobe include:

  • Sensory information processing.
  • Spatial processing and spatial manipulation. This is the ability to understand where you are in three-dimensional space, such as how to navigate around your home or town.

Special areas of note within this lobe are the somatosensory cortex. It receives sensory information from all over your body. Heres an example of how brain lobes work together:

The motor cortex in your brains frontal lobe sends the message that directs the muscles in your arm and hand to reach out toward a cup of soup on your kitchen table. The somatosensory cortex of your parietal lobe assesses the information delivered through your touch of the cup, including judgment of its temperature. Spatial processing in your parietal lobe allows you to grasp the cup, flawlessly navigating hand-to-cup distance relative to the table and other surrounding objects.

Functions of the temporal lobe

Recommended Reading: Nami National Alliance On Mental Illness

What Are The Regions Of The Brain And How Do They Fit Into The Brain Structure

The three main parts of the brain are split amongst three regions developed during the embryonic period: the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Together, these regions act as a useful map to understanding the various parts of the brain’s structure and functions.

The forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain serve as regions that make finding the various parts of the brain easier./ BruceBlaus/Wikimedia Commons

To better understand the roles of the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain within the brain, check out the short video below:

How Does The Brain Work

The brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, and your brain interprets each. Some make you feel tired, for example, while others make you feel pain.

Some messages are kept within the brain, while others are relayed through the spine and across the bodys vast network of nerves to distant extremities. To do this, the central nervous system relies on billions of neurons .

Don’t Miss: National Mental Health Awareness Month 2022

Exercises And Critical Thinking

  • Do you think that animals experience emotion? What aspects of brain structure might lead you to believe that they do or do not?
  • Consider your own experiences and speculate on which parts of your brain might be particularly well developed as a result of these experiences.
  • Which brain hemisphere are you likely to be using when you search for a fork in the silverware drawer? Which brain hemisphere are you most likely to be using when you struggle to remember the name of an old friend?
  • Do you think that encouraging left-handed children to use their right hands is a good idea? Why or why not?
  • Related articles

    Inpatient Mental Health Facilities In South Dakota

    Residential Vs Outpatient Treatment Centers ...

    Why Do I Have Brain Fog

    When Should You See A Doctor ...

    Johnson County Mental Health Crisis Line

    Mental Health Resources In Johnson County Overland Park ...

    Mental Health Short Term Disability

    Searching For Accredited Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Centers Near You ...