How do we store memories?


I searched in the net and what I got are different parts of brain functioning for this. And I saw something like goes in then opposite but I don’t understand any of it.

In: Biology

We do not know. What we see is that there are some areas of the brain that have a higher chance of causing memory loss or other memory related issues then others. So we do have some vauge idea of some of the areas that might be critical for storing and recalling memory. But we do not actually know how the system works. That does also indicate that it is a very complex system.

Think a newly laid out grass between several buildings. It’s green and solid. Now people are taking short cuts across the grass when moving from building to another. As they walk the they create paths (called in landscaping as desire paths). Grass gets stomped and turns to muddy path.

Now if some path is not used in long time, grass will regrow there. First slowly and at some point you can’t longer tell if there ever was a path there at all.

This is how memory works (in ELI5 terms) and how you forget stuff. Now paths are neuron connections on your hippocampus (grass) and buildings are different parts of brains (including sensory parts).

* Your memories are not like computer files they are more like a series of “clues”: your five senses and emotions factor into memories
* A theory about sleep and dreams is that (among other things) it’s memory consolidation. Your brain organizes memories while you sleep – one correlation is that people who learn new things in a classroom or formal training report lots of dreams when they sleep.
* Some memories fade or become disjointed because they are not used. That person from your teen years that interacted with -a lot – is now “the dude with the shirt” because the memories weren’t used, or weren’t used that much.
* You can recover some of that, so when the “the dude with the shirt” send you a FB request, your brain will try to get as much as it can – but will fill in the blanks with new information.

The key takeaway is that memory isn’t like a DVD or a photograph – it’s a living thing that can be replenished or “die” based on how it’s used.

Neuroscience PhD here. We haven’t got a fucking clue. We have some very general ideas about what kinds of mechanisms it might involve (it might have something to do with changing the strengths of connections between brain cells), but that’s like saying hard drives work by changing the magnetization of bits of metal.. sure, that may be the operational principle, but I still don’t know how a whole entire hard drive WORKS. And the brain is nauseatingly complex, compared to a hard drive.