How does memory loss work? are the memories completely erased or are they stored somewhere inaccessible in the brain?

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How does memory loss work? are the memories completely erased or are they stored somewhere inaccessible in the brain?

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Nope, that’s not how it works.

Episodic memory in the brain is not like your computer’s hard drive. Ideas are connected to each other in a network. Forgetting is a routine maintenance process, where stronger connections are reinforced at the expense of weaker ones. That’s why you can remember the Halloween costume you wore when you were 12, but not which shirt you wore last Thursday. It’s also how you can remember the term “bucket list” from the distant past even though the term was coined in the 2007 movie.

Human memory is a miraculous, and not very reliable, thing.

You have all kinds of memory.

1. Things that you have no idea of, but suddenly does a smell remind you of something that happened when you were 6 years old.
2. Things you have an idea of but can’t recall.
3. Something you remember but are unsure if it was a real life event or an old dream.

And 100 other kinds, your brain is a huge mess of fragments, half ideas, fantasies. But most important is that most of what you remember and know has happened, is wrong and properly never happened, or at least not in that way you remember. 🙂