: How does our brain decide what goes in short-term memory and what goes in long-term memory ?


How come I remember a specific day playing during recess in primary school even though nothing special happened but I don’t remember an important thing my friend or family shared ?

In: 5

Long term memory is just trained short term memory.

The memories don’t change. They’re not moved. Short term memories aren’t deleted. Long term memories are simply memories that were ‘used’ more.

The more you use knowledge or remember memories, the better the pathways between them develop. If you can still remember a random day in primary school, you probably thought back to it a lot back then. It doesn’t have to be special for you to think back to it as a kid, and now that you’re grown up it’s special because you still remember it.

If you can’t remember the important thing you shared with family, you probably didn’t think it was that important at the time. Or at least you didn’t really think back to it as much, or you’d remember.

The only things that can ‘delete’ memories are severe brain injuries. Some medications, drugs, and a lot of alcohol can prohibit memories from forming properly though. Being ‘black-out drunk’ doesn’t erase memories, it stops them from forming in the first place.