There are several types of memory and each type is associated with one of the five senses: visual memory, verbal / auditory / hearing memory, taste memory, smell memory, and touch memory.
1. Our visual memory deals with things we see. We remember the way our friends and family look, we recognize our homes and offices, and we remember where we parked our car in the mall parking lot.
2. Our verbal memory allows us to remember the voices of our friends and family, recall musical lyrics and a myriad of other auditory perceptions.
3. With our ability to remember the taste of various foods and objects, we learn over time what we like and dislike. We may remember not to order the onions on the burger the next time, or that we prefer cheddar to American cheese.
4. We associate certain smells with specific people, places, and events. For instance, the scent of a familiar perfume may take us back to a Saturday night date in high school, or the smell of gunpowder may force the war veteran to recall an unpleasant occurrence.
5. Our memory associated with the sense of touch allows us to remember not to touch a hot stove and not to hold a knife by its blade.
Each of the components of memory mentioned above are located in different parts of the brain. For instance, visual memories are stored in the left part of the brain while verbal memories are stored in the right. Memories of each of the above sensory perceptions can be further broken down into immediate, short-term, and long-term memory:
1. Immediate memory deals with the ability to retain information for a very short period, usually less then a few minutes. For instance, if you were to stop at a gas station and ask for directions, the quality of your immediate memory will determine whether you will remember the directions without actually writing them down.
2. Short-term memory encompasses the ability to remember an event 30 minutes to an hour after occurrence.
3. Long-term memory is typically measured in years.Memory Impairment
- Most of us are familiar with the term "amnesia," however we may not really understand its meaning. Amnesia occurs when we lose a memory that we once had. There are two types of amnesia, retrograde and anterior grade. Retrograde amnesia occurs when we lose memories prior to some traumatic event while anterior grade amnesia is the loss of a memory that occurred after the traumatic event. For instance, if you suffer some traumatic injury to the head
and forget where you had been or what you had been doing for a few days before the accident, you suffer from retrograde amnesia. Likewise, if you cannot remember what has happened after the accident you may be suffering from anterior grade amnesia.
2. Loss of ability to remember
- While amnesia deals with the loss of a memory you once had, your ability to remember, i.e., the measure of whether you have a "good" or "bad" memory, can also be affected by head injury. Depending on what part of the brain has been affected, your ability to remember tastes, smells, appearances, or sounds will likewise be affected. Additionally, head injury may affect your immediate, short-term, and / or long-term memory. Typically, short-term retention is most affected by head injury.
A head injury that causes swelling in the brain reduces the brain's ability to process incoming information. Additionally, once such incoming information is processed and stored in the appropriate area of the brain, the brain may have difficulty retrieving the information when needed.
You can get help in treating your memory loss. There are physicians
and speech therapists that specialize in treating memory loss.
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