First Chances Essay – Naomi Faddes - Memory


The topic I have chosen to research is memory, to look at this we must look at many components such as how the brain works and what the parts of the brain are. I have done research by giving surveys to the teachers at Glenrothes High School, fellow students and also my parent/guardian.

Some people may ask why memory is so important; your memory is your brain's filing system. It contains everything you have learnt. You can store an amazing amount of information for example, as a child you learned around ten new words a day, and you may eventually know 100,000 or more. This is because of your brain, your memory and you should be lucky you have it imagine a world where you did not have a memory...what would that be like?

There are different stages of our life from a child to an elder, but when the world was at its beginning scientists have said that Evolution is the idea that we have evolved from monkeys, but have we changed much? If we look back to the first stage of evolution we see the Australopithecus they were the first of our ancestors, this then moved on to Homo Habilis which was the next stage of our evolution means handy man, these humans then evolved into Homo Erectis this means upright man this stage passed and continued on to Homo Neanderthalensis this stage is closely related to is and were a bit stronger that the last stage of evolution which was Homo Sapiens, our generation, the people who are here today.

Our minds and memory are magnificent from the ones who can remember small things like to bring your car keys to work to the big scientists and politicians remembering important data and important equations. I carried out various surveys and tests to find out more about the human brain. My various surveys included interviewing people such as Ellis Brady (S3 Glenrothes High School age 14), Yvonne Faddes (parent guardian, age 36), Mrs Drummond (School Librarian) and Mrs Low (English Teacher at Glenrothes High School.)

The first questionnaire that I carried out was for my teacher Mrs Low and librarian Mrs Drummond, this was on what they think pupils take in more and read more, the options I gave them for this particular question were Paper, Electronic or audio.  My conclusion from this test is that according to them the pupils prefer more electronic books on kindles, phones, tablets and laptops. They think that this is due to the large amount of time that pupils spend on their mobile devices. Scientists have said that humans use different parts of the brain when reading afrom a piece of paper or from a screen so the more that you read an electronic book the smaller the paper book part of your brain gets.

My second test was for Ellis and Yvonne both of a different age range. My test was I gave them a paragraph to read and then I took the book away, for this they each had 2 minutes to read and study the paragraph. I then told them to write what they remembered from it and my conclusion was that teenagers have a better memory. I don’t know if this is because of how much teenagers have to remember causing them to getting used to remembering things or if this is due to the fact that these particular people were not of average memory but my conclusion was that teenagers are better at remembering things. I proved this by reading over the two paragraphs and choosing which one was more accurate I carried out this test another two times with another two tests for another four people and all ended in the same results.

The parts of the brain which are most used for memory are the Frontal lobe which is mainly used for short term memory, the occipital lobe used for sight (viewing objects such as posters and power points that we need to memorize or remember) and Temporal lobe used for memory and hearing.

There are levels of memory such as Long Term memory, Short Term memory, and there are types of memory, Sensory memory, explicit memory, implicit memory, Declarative memory, Procedural memory, episodic memory and Semantic memory. Each level of memory had a different capacity so that each level can store different things.Short Term Memory is the capacity for holding small amounts of info in mind in an active, readily available state. For a short period of time. The duration of short term memory is believed to be in the order of seconds. Long Term memory which can hold pieces of information for a long time such as the name of a person or your timetable for school, information can remain in long-term memory indefinitely.

Everyone forgets the small things like taking your timetable to school or picking up your car keys on the way out or even doing homework for a class but why do we forget these things even though they are important. Maybe we have to think about so many things that our mind is thinking about something else at the same time putting our brain off balance.

We can overload our brains to the point where it gives us a headache. If you are thinking about a list of things you have to do for instance, do your maths homework, walk the dog, go to school, read that book for English and go to the shops with a massive shopping list we may get a headache trying to remember everything at once it’s not easy. Some people are capable of multi tasking which is great at times before you do something wrong trying to remember what two things that you have to do along with trying to remember how to do each thing may confuse us and we may end up doing the thing wrong.

I have taken a survey of what people forget most in their daily life, the options they had were a piece of work, their phone, keys or meetings. My conclusion was that it is usually a piece of work or keys. They have also added that they usually are at work by the time they forgot or have just finished locking there door and need to get into their car.

Remembering things is also sometimes a bad thing, like if a relative passed away or if you severely injured yourself or lost something important to you. This could give you a bad memory which could be a short term or long term memory. Most people try not to remember these things but it’s sometimes difficult to forget.

Flashbacks, Nightmares and Intrusive memories are Re-experiencing past trauma. The difference between a flashback and an intrusive memory is, in a flashback you are relieving the memory which means that you have lost touch with your current situation. With intrusive memories, you know where and when you are but the memory keeps intruding in your mind.  There are various triggers that can bring up the memories of this past trauma such as... Environment (heat, cold, rain, storm, etc.) Your senses (smell, hearing, seeing, feeling, pain), Thoughts (about self, about the past), Emotions (fear, anger, distress, disgust, guilt, shame). Media (news or movies about a similar situation) and finally People associated with the trauma.

Unfortunately some people have things such as dementia. Dementia is something that over 1,000,000 people in the UK are living with, dementia is when you begin to forget things daily it could be small things but sometimes it’s bigger. Dementia could cause difficulty in communication and language and the ability to focus and pay attention. It could also affect your judgement and reasoning Reasoning and judgment the most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease.

So in conclusion, memory can be so helpful when you need it. To remember the small things and the big things. Sometimes memory isn’t the best when it comes to flashbacks and nightmares as you have to bring out the bad memories but you still have the good memories in your brain.









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  • Created on: 31-03-16 08:38
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