Educators educating Educators

Sep 26

Location of S-T Memory

In addition, investigate the fascinating discussion of "H.M." in Long-Term Memory, the man some researchers claim contributed the most to our understanding of memory.

Memory & the Hippocampus

Rita Carter explains in her new book The Human Brain that “memories are stored in fragments throughout the brain and are distributed throughout the brain. One way to envisage the pattern of memories in the brain is as a complex web, in which the threads symbolize the various elements of a memory that joins at the nodes, or intersection points, to form a whole, rounded memory of an object, person, or event.”

One benefit of such a distributed storage system is that it makes long-term memories more or less indestructible because if one part of an experience is lost, many others will remain.

If they were held in a single brain area, damage to that place would eradicate the memory completely. As it is, brain trauma and degeneration may nibble away at memories but rarely destroy them entirely. You may lose a person’s name, for example, but not the memory of their face.

Carter explains that “declarative memories are laid down and accessed by the hippocampus but are stored throughout the brain. Each element of a memory is encoded in the same part of the brain that originally created that fragment. When you recall the experience, you recreate it in essence by reactivating the neural pattern generated during the original experience that was encoded to memory. Once a memory is sparked off, the hippocampus triggers various aspects of it in unison and different brain areas recall a variety of memories.”

Take, for example, the memory of a dog or cat you once owned. Your recall of his color is created by the color area of the visual cortex; the motor area of your brain reconstructs the recollection of walking the dog; his name is stored in the language area, and so on.



Welcome back to another school year. I hope your summer was relaxing and invigorating and you are looking forward to the approaching school year and the opportunity to stimulate and challenge your students’ minds.

This summer I was able to study Sir Ken Robinson, a British author, speaker and international advisor on education to governments, non-profits, and education organizations

I, like many people, find his writings and Ted Talks not only witty and inspiring but also thought-provoking and challenging. Much of his work deals with the diversity of intelligence, the power of imagination and creativity, and the importance of commitment to our own capabilities. He posits that the noticeable lack of them in our schools negatively affect students’ learning and teachers’ productivity and the absence of them is triggered by the demands of standardized testing.

I hope you find Sir Ken Robinson’s words inspiriting and challenging as I do and be mindful of them as you plan for the new year. Here is to a great 2017-2018 school year!