How do we remember things? know more.

We remember things, because of our brain power. But how? Human brain is a powerhouse and controls everything, like what we see, think, talk, eat, speak, imagine, dream, remember, reason, etc. It is like a self-programmed computer system being controlled by our minds.

How do we remember things?

We remember things, because of our brain power. But how? Human brain is a powerhouse and controls everything, like what we see, think, talk, eat, speak, imagine, dream, remember, reason, etc. It is like a self-programmed computer system being controlled by our minds.

Our brain is made up of a network of very fine cells called neurons or neuron cells. They send electrical signals to each other via strands and connect to each other at synapses or neuronal junctions. Neurons are responsible for receiving sensory inputs from the external world and sending motor commands to our other organs. It is said that the human brain network has about 100 billion neurons and up to 10000 synapses.


The largest part of the brain is the cerebrum, which constitutes 80 percent weight of the human brain, located in the superior part of the cranial cavity inside the skull. The cerebrum is divided into the right and left hemispheres and connected by an arch of white matter called the corpus callosum. Right hemisphere controls and processes the signals from the right side of the body and vice versa. But any of the hemispheres may function independently. The cerebrum is divided into four lobes or sections to perform different functions

  • Frontal lobe: It is located in the front of the brain. The frontal lobe is associated with logical reasoning, motor skills, language learning, thinking, imagination, socialization, decision-making, problem-solving, risk-taking abilities, etc. Further planning, personality expression, goal-oriented thoughts and actions, concentration, judgment, analytical skill, and situation orient behavior are the benchmark of this lobe.
  • Parietal lobe: Parietal lobe is located in the middle section of the brain. This section is concerned with processing tactile sensory information, such as pressure, feelings of touch and pain, verbal memory, language, body movement, etc. It also controls the body temperature.
  • Temporal lobe: Temporal lobe is located in the bottom section of the brain, where the primary auditory cortex is present. Interpretation of sound, speech, language, and what we hear are the functions of this lobe.
  • Occipital lobe: Its location is at the back portion of the brain, where the primary visual cortex is present. It is concerned with the identification of colors, recognition of substances, and interpretation of visual things.

Dr. Roger W. Sperry, the Nobel laureate proved that human beings have two minds. The brain has two hemispheres, the right & left hemispheres and two sides can operate independently. The left hemisphere specializes in verbal and analytical tasks, whereas the right hemisphere is involved in perceptive and musical activities. He shared the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine in 1981 for the above split-brain theory.

How does memory work?

Memory is the data or information acquired, gathered, processed, stored, and retrieved by our mind for the future or as and when needed. The process of memory can be divided into four aspects, like learning, retention, forgetting, and retrieving.


The initial storage of information is called learning. In the process of learning, different lobes of the cerebrum act very smartly. Functions of reasoning, sight, hearing, touching, speech, language, short-term memory, long-term memory, etc are coming under learning. During the entire process, the networks of millions of neurons work.


Keeping the new information in mind storage is retention, or on the other hand ability to remember or recall information over time. Retention is separate from working memory.


The loss of information over a period of time is forgetting. This forgetting syndrome is the byproduct of stress, depression, sleeplessness, side effects of medicines, working environments, lack of proper diet, etc.


The utilization of stored data or information or the process of accessing stored memory is called retrieval.

Psychologists roughly divide learning into four types; as classical conditioning, instrumental learning, multiple response learning, and insight learning.

Classical conditioning:

It is the simplest kind of learning, in which an association is made between a previously neutral stimulus and a stimulus that naturally evokes a response. Ivan Pavlov experimented the same in early 1900, with a dog, food, and a ringing bell. Pavlov offered a dog some food and at the same time rang a bell.

In the initial stage the sight of the food, made the dog respond. According to Pavlov, it was an unconditional response, because the dog was not learned. But soon the dog started responding to the ringing bell without seeing the food. This was called conditional response. Classical conditioning is also called respondent learning.

Instrumental learning:

In instrumental learning, behaviors are strengthened or weakened by consequences. For the behavior, some inputs act as instruments or influences. We may take an example, here-A curious student, who likes to ask questions to his class teacher, if the teacher is ready to answer all the queries and encourage to more questions, the student will feel free to ask more questions, but if the teacher did not respond the queries and rather discourage the boy, he will not further ask any question. The approach and attitude of the teacher act as instruments or influences.

Multiple response learning:

Multiple-response learning takes place when a skill is learned. For this purpose, a sequence of simple things must be learned first. Now we may take an example, one has to learn computer which is one kind of multiple-response learning.

Before going to type on a computer keyboard, he has to know, basic knowledge about computers like how to switch on & off the desktop, how the keyboard functions, how small and bold letters appear on the screen, use of different symbols, enter key, backspace, delete key, mouse, etc. Further, he will proceed in learning type, copy, and paste, page settings, printing, use of the internet, downloading softcopy, etc. In further learning, he may learn soft wear development, etc.

Insight learning:

In insight learning, one has to solve the problem, on the spot by understanding the spot situation, where his intelligence and wisdom work. For example, a colorful and attractive balloon is kept on the table, a kid needs it but he could not touch it due to the height factor. But somehow he wants the balloon, and he pulls a stool near the table and first climbs the stool, and then picked up the balloon.

Psychologists have proposed more theories about how we remember things or memorize events. Some theories are as below- theory of general memory process, information processing theories, and level of processing theories

Theory of general memory process:

This theory says memory consists of three cognitive processes -an encoding process, a storage process, and a retrieval process. The encoding process receives sensory input and transforms it into a form or a code that can be stored. Storage is the process of actually putting coded information in memory and retrieval is the process of gaining access to coded data when needed.

Information processing theories:

Many models have been proposed under information processing theories but the most prominent among them is the storage and transfer model developed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Schifrin(1968). They proposed three different memory storage systems; a sensory store, a short-term store, and a long-term store.

According to the model, the process of memorization starts with picking information from our sense organs from our environment. Later the picked information moves through nerve system and reaches the brain for evaluation. The sensory information remains in the nervous system for less than a second to evaluate the brain to interpret.

This storage is known as sensory storage. Then this information is passed on to the short-term store, where it is held for about half a minute. Some of the information reaching short-term memory is processed by being rehearsed again and again which is a conscious activity. The information not so processed is lost.

Finally, the information rehearsed many times sincerely may then be passed on to the long-term stores. Once the information is placed in a long-term store, it is recognized to be categorized, where it may reside for days, months, years, or for a lifetime.

This organized and stored information in the long-term store, in coded form, is transferred back to the short-term store, where it is decoded and employed for the response as ordered by the brain through motor nerves.

Levels of processing theory:

This theory was suggested by Craik and Lockhart (1972). This theory says human has one kind of memory and the ability to remember things, depends upon the depth of information received and processed.

If the information is processed at a superficial and shallow level, the forgetting will be more and on the other hand, if the information is processed with utmost sincerity and care, will remain in memory for a long and help us to memorize things whenever required.

Some biologists are of the opinion that RNA present in the brain keeps records of information or record of events. It is also observed that the quantity of RNA present in the brain keeps increasing from the age of three to the age of forty. The memory of a person increases with the increase of RNA. The quantity of RNA remains almost constant from the age of 40 to 55 or 60. After the age of 60, the quantity of RNA starts decreasing and so does the memory.

Bottom line:

The study of the brain and memory are unending process. Whatever theories and studies reports published are not concluding. But a keen interest to memorise things and repeated rehearsal are definitely key for long-term memory storage. Learning patterns as per DMIT (Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Test) may help the children to memorize things in a scientific manner for a long.

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  • August 13, 2022 at 3:55 pm

    Wonderful efforts ✨✨🔆🔆🤩

  • August 14, 2022 at 9:53 am

    Informative article

    • August 14, 2022 at 10:07 am

      Thank you Chanda babu


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