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The brain has a special file cabinet for storing memories.

Have you ever thought about how our brain stores memories? It turns out that this is not such a simple matter. So, the specialists of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found out that before putting it in the “storage”, the brain assigns to each memory a certain set of markers, which subsequently allow them to be retrieved from memory. The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Markers and triggers

So, when we are looking for some materials in the file cabinet, we conduct a search according to specific criteria. Let’s say we need to find photos from a graduation party at a university that took place in such and such a year. We first look for albums with pictures from the same year, and then among them we look for an album for the desired date and on the required topic. Let’s say Graduation June 25th.

The brain works the same way. He starts to sort through the markers. If we need to remember the graduation celebration, then we first remember our studies at the university, the events of that period, and so we “get” at the right moment.

Although there is another way to “get close” to the memory. If we are faced with some kind of triggers, then pictures from the past may pop up in our memory. Suppose the smell of lilies of the valley can remind you of a first date, and a song that you accidentally heard on the radio can remind you of an accident that you had just when you were listening to this song.

Video reaction

But all this had to be proven! To this end, scientists conducted an experiment. Volunteers were shown two types of video recordings. In the first case, the story that developed in the clip was logical and coherent, in the second it consisted of events that were in no way connected with each other.

At the same time, during the experiment, experts monitored the brains of the subjects using special equipment. They found that the response to the two types of clips was different.

This was probably due to the fact that the neurons had to analyze the data received from the outside in different ways. If in the first videos the plots were connected by common themes, then the second ones were “split” into separate mini-plots. Therefore, the memorization mechanisms in both cases differed.

Quick scan

By the way, most often the necessary memory pops up in memory instantly (of course, if we are talking about events, and not, for example, about names, titles or numbers). This high speed is due to the fact that the brain instantly scans the entire amount of data it has, including visual images, sounds and smells.

So, if we are talking about the notorious prom, then you can remember that you were in a beige dress with lace, in the newly renovated hall it smelled of fresh paint, but it was interrupted by the aroma of strong perfume of one of your classmates … And the music that played there, you then often heard in different places and always remembered that day.

If a person is not able to remember even the important moments of his life, this may indicate that his neural connections are broken and access to the “brain filing cabinet” is blocked. This can happen with Alzheimer’s disease or head injuries. But we hope that this will not happen to you until a very old age.

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Denial of responsibility: This content, including tips, provides general information only. This is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. For more information, always consult a specialist or your healthcare professional.

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