Do you think that the short term memory is just what it says, a short term memory? i.e. not meant to last a long time.
In other words if we don't do more with it I guess our brain just goes and deletes it?
There is evidence that everything you experience is stored at some level. The problem is not so much the ability to store information, but rather the ability to retrieve it.
Anecdotally, there are methods that claim to give people the ability to recall memories from times long past. Alas, there has never been adequate substantiation for these methods.
In my personal life, I have found that there are memories I have from many years ago that, once I checked them against an original source (generally a film, movie or photograph), I found that my recall was not entirely accurate. On reflection, I believe that I modified those memories in dreams, and was recalling the dreams rather than the original events.
Humans make terrible observers. At an accident, you will get six different stories from six different people about what happened. Memory is more than just recall; it is influenced by your beliefs and perceptions, and by your emotional involvement.
There are medical cases of people who, after an accident involving head trauma, are unable to lay down new long-term memory patterns. They can remember everything up to the time of the accident, but they will not remember your face or your name five minutes after they meet you.
Similarly, there are a few people who can remember everything that has ever happened to them, on a daily basis, from years ago, in vivid detail. You will have to ask them if that is a blessing or a curse.
answered 03 Nov '09, 20:37
Barry, The brain stores everything, the 'short term' usually refers to insignificant things, but in fact your sub conscious mind takes note of, and registers everything it sees, hears, feels, smells, and touches.
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