Wednesday, October 9, 2019

                                  Four Reasons Why I forgot Your Birthday!

Memory is an imperative attribute in all humans. It is described as the ability to retain information and acquire knowledge to be recalled at a later time. Memories can be long term or short term however, despite one’s ability to remember information from years or days prior it is possible to forget information. Inability to recall information compelled science to look further into why sometimes memory fails and also how it can be improved. The article How Memory Works  explain that there are three types of memory. First, sensory memory; it is our ability to hold our 5 senses after the original stimuli have ended. Second, is short term memory or “working memory which allows a person to hold key information in their mind. Lastly, there is long term memory (semantic memory) which is where we store past events and patterns. 

For many years, despite our understanding of the “mapping” of memory it had been difficult to fully grasp why people forget things, or remember things much more efficient than others. We’ve explored genetic factors, old age and overall health of a human to explain this lack of efficiency in memory. According to this article "Very well Mind"  a renowned memory researcher, Elizabeth locus most recent research may have narrowed down an explanation to why we forget into four major categories; retrieval failure, interference, failure to store, and motivated forgetting.

Ever feel like the information is “floating” in your mind but you cannot quite put it together; this is known as retrieval failure the most common cause of forgetting. This phenomenon is known as “decay theory” which means as we retain new information, old ones begin to disappear, and if the information is not rehearsed it is eventually lost. The theory of interference suggest that memories will “compete” and interfere with information that are similar that were previously stored. Another reason we forget is “failure to store” which suggest that losing information is sometimes a result of failure to make it to long term memory. This is most common among students; it is very easy to remember the overall topic but it is very likely to forget minor details. The last category is “motivated forgetting” which is an unconscious form of forgetting better known as suppression of memory. Motivated forgetting mostly relates to traumatic memories that we actively work to forget.

Unfortunately, forgetting is inevitable but we can put memory improvement strategies into practice. Healthline  suggest eating less added sugar can help improve memory because it’s been linked to diseases including cognitive declined. Meditation is widely known to reduce stress and blood pressure which contributes an overall brain function improvement. Lastly, the golden rule we all are most familiar with; getting enough sleep. So, the next time you forget a friend’s birthday be sure to refer them to this article.

 Posted by "Fredjah Desmezeaux" (4) 


  1. I remember learning in my high school psychology class that a human's memory capacity enables us to remember 7 +/- 2 things in our short term memory. However, our long term memory can hold countless memories. I found your blog post to be very intriguing as it discusses how memory capacity can be effected over time from phenomena such as decaying, failure to store, and motivated forgetting.
    Posted by "Lauren Shone"

  2. I found this article to be very interesting, since I am an assistant in a sleep lab. Most of my research focuses on how the REM portion of sleep is able to affect memory in older adults. There is a hypothesis that sleep is able to "rescue" memories that have been forgotten due to a particular form of memory interference called Retrieval Induced Forgetting (RIF). This type of forgetting occurs when you are trying to recall a long term memory, but are unable to due to some other related memory. As mentioned in your post, there are many forces that can limit our memory, but I am curious if you know about any other factors that can affect memory like gender or diet.

    Posted By "Nicholas Georgette"

    1. Other factors that can effect memory can be related to diet, for instance as I mentioned in the last paragraph high consumption of added sugar had been linked to diseases that causes cognitive declined .
      - fredjah desmezeaux

  3. Ive been going through countless all nighters this semester and I have been observing my memory functions as the hours of no sleep progressed. Through my experiences and observations I can indeed confirm that lack of sleep effects short term memory but strangely does not effect long term memory at least for me. I can also confirm that sugar may cause short term memory hindrance because when I do eat sugars, it may allow me to function better for the short term, but when the crash occurs, it has the opposite effect.

    - Posted by King Wahib

  4. This is such an intriguing topic. I have always been interested in learning more about memory, which is why I decided to take psychology classes on this topic. Some people have better memory than others, however, turns out memory can be improved. I've heard that sleeping can actually help with memory consolidation, is that true? If so, what is the biological or neurological mechanism behind it?

    -Emily Wong

  5. during my research apparently the mechanism is not fully understood , however it is shown that when being sleep deprived neurons do not fire optimally , therefore there are laps in focus these factors will hinder a persons ability to recall information instantly . in other words you're not so "sharp" when you're too tired to think.
    - fredjah desmezeaux

  6. Memory is a tricky subject. There are so many articles talking about what is best for you and what kind of diet you should have. It makes it hard to determine which change would have the greatest impact on your memory. Most articles talk of meditation and sleep being the most important when it comes to memory. This all makes me wonder how much of memory is genetics.

  7. Hey, I even have looking your article and that helped me to put in writing my article about what is a rhinoplasty you want to have a test on my article.