of these articles informs about biological (neurological) aspects of the memory. Over the meaning of the word as “memories” (this formulation is in book sub-titles and on monuments: N.N. to the memory) there is so far the article to memories and memory of thoseVictim of the national socialism. Elaboration during other periods are still pending.

By memory or Mneme one understands the ability of the brain to take up information to keep to arrange and again call up. Depending upon temporal duration of the storage of the information becomesbetween the work memory, which was called in former times short time memory, and which long-term memory differentiated. Depending upon kind of memory contents one differentiates between deklarativem and procedural memory. The deklarative memory stores facts and/or. Events, which belong either to the own biography (episodisches) Or the so-called world knowledge of humans, like for example vocational knowledge, facts from history, politics, cook prescriptions etc. constitute memory. (semantic memory). The procedural memory contains talents, which are used automatically, without thinking. In addition above all motor operational sequence belong (bicycle-drive,Swim, dancing, ski driving, etc.). Procedural memory contents are acquired by implicit learning, semantic by explicit learning.

Modell des menschlichen Gedächtnisses
Model of the human memory

table of contents

information flow

sensory memory

new information reach the brain in principle by means of the sensory organs. The arriving data sets are considerable and exceed the capacity of consciousness by far. They become therefore in a sensory memory (also sensory register) stored, over a large capacity orders, which can store information however only very briefly - few hundred milliseconds -. Forgotten begins immediately after the admission, information can be deleted also actively and by following information overwritten.

The sensory memory is specific to each sense modality, among other things one speaks also of the ikonografischen memory for the visual system and of the echoischen memory for the auditive system. Storage in the sensory register permits in the Grosshirnkortex for each modalityto compare and finally filter specific areas to interpret the information to accomplish a pattern recognition with well-known attraction samples from the long-term memory and evaluate. It concerns here one of the central processes of consciousness and attention.

The datafrom the sensory memory must be enkodiert, in order in the work memory to be transferred. That can take place verbal, or in non-verbal way particularly with spatial context attractions. The latter way must be hit by small children and animals, or alsoInformation, which is verbal only with difficulty representable.

work memory

in the center of the conscious data processing stands the work memory. It is characterized by an extraordinarily limited capacity of only 7±2 information units. The information is temporally arranged, forgetting effected throughOverwrite and can be avoided by repeating. The information can be processed, results must for long-term storage into the long-term memory be transferred.

In former times usual model of the short time memory was replaced in the last 25 years by the model work memory, thatthe following three systems contains:

  • The spatial-visual note pad for the short term storage of visual impressions.
  • The artikulatorische loop serves for the storage of verbal information, which can remain available by internal repeating relatively for a long time.
  • The central executive administers both systems and linksInformation from these systems with the long-term memory.

long-term memory

the long-term memory is finally the durable memory system of the brain. It concerns not around a uniform thing, but several memory achievements for different kinds of information. Over delimitations thatCapacity and the period spent of contents are not anything well-known. Finds forgotten apparent less by information loss as in the others, brief memory forms, but by interference with others, to before or later learned contents.

One knows thus the following four processes of the long-term memorydifferentiate:

  • Learn/Enkodierung: New storing of information
  • consolidation/keeping: Retains from important information by regular call
  • reminding/call: Reproduction or reconstruction of memory contents
  • forgetting: Decay of memory traces or interference by competitive information

for the transfer of new memory contents into thatLong-term memory and retaining information practicing is essential, conscious calling up and circulating of information in the work memory. The anchorage in the memory increases on the one hand with the relevance and the number of associations, on the other hand also with the emotional meaning.

kinds of the information

fundamental differentiate between one two forms of the long-term memory, which store different kinds of information: Deklaratives and procedural memory.

Deklaratives memory

the deklarative memory, also knowledge memory or explicit memory, stores facts andEvents, which can be shown consciously. One divides the deklarative memory into two ranges. The semantic memory contains the world knowledge, from the person independent, general facts (“Paris the capital of France” is, “one has a nut/mother and a father”). In episodes , events and facts from the own life (memory of experiences with an attendance in Paris, the face and the name of the own father) are episodischen memory. The place of the deklarativen memory is the Neokortex .

Procedural memory

the procedural memory, also behavior memory, implicit memory or nichtdeklaratives memory stores talents, expectations, behaviors and the results of conditioning procedures and Priming. It is various regarding the contained kinds of information, the necessary learning mechanisms and thoseappropriate anatomical regions. It is common to contents of the procedural memory that they can affect the behavior without engagement of consciousness. One thinks of going, wheel driving, dancing, driving a car, piano plays: Complex movements must be implemented, their expiration one learned and oftenpracticed, which can think now however without be called up, without which consciousness about movement impulses to most diverse muscles and its co-ordination to worry would have. Different subkortikale regions (in the Neokortex not lain and thus not consciousness accessible) furnish thoseAchievement of the procedural memory.

for hearing, there is

anatomy and physiology of the memory in contrast for example to the language, to the Motorik, for seeing, no described memory center in the brain. Rather the memory is fundamental an additional achievementfar parts of the brain. Nevertheless one can differentiate between on the one hand different anatomical structures, which are necessary for the memory ability. On the other hand arises first the question, which on lowest level, at the individual neuron, the Korrelat of learning and of theMemory contents represents.

neural learning processes

memory contents is laid down, more exact in the connections of the nerve cells, the synapses, in the synaptic efficiency of neural nets.

Between that approximately 100 billion nerve cells exist roughly 100 to 500 trillionSynapses. Crucial is here the synaptic plasticity: Many synapses are not static, but can again develop or go down, and they can change the efficiency of the transmission on the other neuron for itself and neighbouring synapses. Donald O. Hebb postulatedfirst that synapses can change their transmission strength by their own activity. The hypothesis set up by it in the so-called Hebb learning rule could be confirmed experimentally. After Hebb a synapse becomes, those by resemble-early activity in prä and postsynaptic partbecomes stronger, than Hebb synapse marks. Such a behavior of a synapse is called in the neuro physiology also homosynaptische long-term exponentiation.
There is however a multiplicity of other forms of the synaptic plasticity. They differ particularly in its direction (exponentiation versus depression,i.e. Reinforcement versus weakening), in its duration (short time versus long-term plasticity), in their synaptic specificity (homo versus heterosynaptically) as well as the molecular and mechanisms of its emergence and maintenance.

Different signal cascades were described, those their exit in the excitation of a cell througha certain synapse and thereupon released Aktionspotenzial take and to short like also long-term change of the synaptic efficiency lead. Such mechanisms cover at short notice the phosphorylation of receptor molecules, the payment from retrograden messenger materials to the presynaptic axon, for the long-termEffect in particular however the activation of Transkriptionsfaktoren, which adjust the protein biosynthesis and to the increased synthesis of receptor molecules, enzymes for structure of transmitter and - dismantling and structure proteins lead.

By the activation of synaptic connections it can thus to biochemical understandable, on a long-term basis persistingstructural changes in the connections of the Neurone come.

memory-relevant (neuro) anatomical structures

certain brain regions can be assigned today to the forms of the memory. The allocations can often be occupied by memory disturbances in case of failure the appropriate regions.

The work memory becomesnowadays in the präfrontalen Kortex locates.

The long-term memory however is an achievement of the Kortex and numerous subkortikaler ranges. It must be differentiated between the different information qualities.

Deklaratives memory

the memory place of the deklarativen memory is the entire Neokortex, forthe episodische memory in particular the right frontal and the Temporalkortex, for the semantic memory particularly the speed ral rag.

Even if the place of storage lies there, components are of the for learning, for the transfer of new information into the deklarative memory, limbischen system, above all the mediale speed ral rag system - the Hippocampus and adjacent areas - essential. Often is quoted the case of the patient H.M., for which for the therapy of heavy epilepsy both Hippocampi were removed. The epilepsy had healed, the patientdeveloped however a heavy anterograde Amnesie - he could note nothing new more. That access to memory contents before the operation was unimpaired, but new information was not to be stored no more.

The Hippocampus maintains strong mutual connections with the entorhinalen Kortex (in the adjacent Gyrus parahippocampalis), which receives again Afferenzen from the whole Neokortex, from the Assoziationskortizes, from the präfrontalen Kortex, from the Temporalkortex and also from the Gyrus cinguli. Thus modulated information from all sense modalities reaches the Hippocampus. OfHippocampus outgoing exist also again connections to the Kortexgebieten mentioned. Also the Papez Neuronenkreis plays a role, whereby connections run here arc-shaped by the Fornix into the corpora mamillaria, from there into the front cores of the Thalamus, and from thereinto the Gyrus cinguli and the Gyrus parahippocampalis, with which the circle closes.

The task of the medialen speed ral rag system consists obviously of forming temporal and local connections of the entire present information in order to connect it in such a way to a context.Associative concatenations develop, so that calling only one part of the context is sufficient, in order to re-establish the total situation.


Kortexareale are involved procedural memory at learning talents, the motor areas and präfrontale areas with humans,mainly procedural learning is however in the Kleinhirn and in the basal ganglia located.

For the storage of emotional angefärbter memory contents, also with the conditioning of fear reactions, the Amygdala plays an outstanding role.

For forms of learning like classical conditioning, thoseeven with more primitive animals, are responsible accordingly also evolutionary older brain ranges are present. The place of learning generally lies, where the two attractions which can be linked with one another converge. In particular the Kleinhirn plays thereby a role.

memory formation

a memory (reality, several systems of concepts) is formed for the sinnlichen perception of the reality, consisting of a quantity of terms (significant conceptions of objects of the material world) including the quantity of the linkages of thought (relations, relations, associations) between these terms and special „management programs “(memory functions),those for humans access to the terms (ability to remember) make possible.

In the memory a subject-related system of concepts is provided by the beginning of our individual life, in which each object is represented by a clear term. We make ourselves a their ownImage (a personal conception) of an object with its characteristics and methods including relations between the objects. Thus in the brain an individual „object-oriented model is formed “for the material world.

Parallel to the subject-related system of concepts in the memory a code-referred system of concepts is developed.Usually we are suitable by learning at least a natural speech on. With this learning process an image of the vocabulary, a supply of the word meanings (word-representing system of concepts, code-referred system of concepts) is formed. Only this system permits us on our thoughts (terms, information contents, word contents)to convey to access over with the help of the material carriers (sound sequences, code, words) the immaterial terms.

The code-referred system of concepts stands in a n-to-one-relation to the subject-related system of concepts. That is called a object-representing term can by one or more word meanings be represented. An examplebut a two- one-relationship synonyms of the illness and illness with the object illness /illness is. Differently expressed: A mental deputy of the word illness as well as a mental deputy of the word illness are assigned to a mental deputy of the object illness/illness.

In the memory it givesno redundancy. Each term from our thought supply represents clearly in a one- one-relation an individual code (z. B. Word) or an individual object (z. B. Article).


in contrast to keeping have neurons also the ability for forgetting. Forgetfulness is normal and necessary.

If the brain could not forget, relatively automatically, something, each perception would have to be processed. This work is saved and placed thus brain achievement capacity for unconscious and conscious thought processes ready.

From that of the three storage types presented above (one) there always also a way out for “redundant” information is important model of the neuro science to the waste-paper basket of the forgetfulness.


famous memory people

  • the Amnesiepatient H.M. (see Brenda Milner)
  • the neurologist (brain researcher) Alois (Aloys) Alzheimer
  • the English soldier Adrian Mills, which lost a part of its memory after a fall. (The mirror. Hamburg 2002, 42)
  • Tony Buzan of the Mnemotechniken to memory training developsClemens
  • Mayer the current memory sport has - world champion
  • Kim Peek, island-talented, famous by the film hit Rain one.


  • one, as one means, would not nothing at all have understood with the first times, then the second and third time becamenot differently its than first, and would give no reason to understand with the tenth time more. Which might be missing with the first time, understanding than the memory is less. - Marcel Proust (on the search for the lostTime. In the shade of the young girls, ISBN 3518578758, S. 105)
  • An expression of Luis Buñuel, the Spanish film director, estimates the irreplaceability of the memory correctly: One must begin only to lose its memory and is it onlyby the piece, in order to realize that the memory is our whole life. A life without memory would not be life… Our memory is our co-operation, our reason, our acting, our feeling. Without memory we are not anything…

memory training and sport

memory training are in many respects possible. There are numerous memory coaches and countless books. Usually these develop on Mnemotechniken . The most famous is the Loci method. Nowadays there is also to memory sportsman, memory sport championships and a world rank list.The world record in the Memorieren, thus memorization, as much as possible numbers in 5 minutes is about 333. With Clemens Mayer became 2005 for the first time since 1990 a German memory world champion.


Web on the left of

Wikiquote: Memory - quotations
Wiktionary: Memory - word origin, synonyms and translations



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