As we all get older we find that our memory is not as good as it used to be. Other things can affect memory like depression, stress, and brain injuries. The memory process can be very complex and include many stages. It can, however, be simplified into four main stages: Attention, Encoding, Consolidation, and Retrieval.
- Attention phase– Some people describe having difficulty with memory also may be having difficulty with attention and concentration. You won’t be able to remember something if you were not paying attention in the first place! To begin the memory process you first have to take in the information whether it be visual, auditory, or other.
- Encoding phase– This is the phase where your brain takes in the information it received and convert it into the language that the brain uses. The brain uses electrical signals and chemicals called neurotransmitters to transmit information to where it needs to go in the brain.
- Consolidation phase– This is the phase were the brain takes that information and directs it to the area of the brain where] memories are stored. Memories are not stored in just one part of the brain but in many areas. The hippocampus is essential for memory function particularly the transference of short-term memory to long-term memory.
- Retrieval phase– This phase consists of recalling the information needed to remember. You could even say it involves a decoding phase converting the information in to speech or writing to express the information.
How can you work on your memory and improve each stage? Keep reading the TCG blog!