Sharing my learnings from the book, Remember by Lisa Genova
Remember by Lisa Genova
In Remember, neuroscientist and acclaimed novelist Lisa Genova delves into how memories are made and how we retrieve them. You’ll learn whether forgotten memories are temporarily inaccessible or erased forever and why some memories are built to exist for only a few seconds (like a passcode) while others can last a lifetime (your wedding day). You’ll come to appreciate the clear distinction between normal forgetting (where you parked your car) and forgetting due to Alzheimer’s (that you own a car). And you’ll see how memory is profoundly impacted by meaning, emotion, sleep, stress, and context. Once you understand the language of memory and how it functions, its incredible strengths and maddening weaknesses, its natural vulnerabilities and potential superpowers, you can both vastly improve your ability to remember and feel less rattled when you inevitably forget. You can set educated expectations for your memory, and in doing so, create a better relationship with it. You don’t have to fear it anymore. And that can be life-changing.
- Anything you perceive evaporates in about 15 to 30 seconds unless you get that information to the hippocampus – a deep brain structure that knits neural activity into long-term memory.
- When you’re fully attentive in a moment of some action, your brain translates raw data from your senses into neural activity within the prefrontal cortex. This process is called encoding.
- From encoding, we move to consolidation, where the information passes from the prefrontal cortex into the hippocampus. Here, the neural activity is bound into a stable pattern. That pattern of neurons is now your memory of the moment.
- there are three main types of memory functions you rely on in your daily life: semantic, episodic, and muscle memory.
- Our episodic memory may be powerful and vivid, but it’s probably wrong.
- Muscle memory is a unique and vital form of memory that you create in your motor cortex through repeated practice.
- For the most part, we forget by default. We decide in the moment that whatever’s in front of us isn’t worth paying much attention to. We’re able to do that because of our working memory. But, while our working memory is essential, it’s temporary.
- Prospective memory is a memory of an intention; a message to a future self, which, by nature, is so flaky that it’s better understood as a sort of forgetting.
- Your capacity to learn and recall information is both remarkable and shoddy. One of the most frequent and maddening failures in memory occurs, so to speak, at the tip of the tongue.
- The weakening of memory with age is a frustrating but natural phenomenon. Alzheimer’s Disease, on the other hand, seems to have a more singular source: the buildup of proteins in our brains into what are called amyloid plaques. While the aging of the brain is inevitable and the consequences of Alzheimer’s are brutal.
- A healthy, engaged lifestyle will not only mitigate Alzheimer’s but can help you resist the normal weakening of your memory.
- Beyond a healthy lifestyle, you can use methods and tricks to optimize your memory. take advantage of technology and the physical world because your brain, while impressive, needs all the help it can get.