Impact sommeil sur santé cérébrale

The notion of memory refers to memories, perceptions, attention or actions and contributes to the construction of our identity. But what is that “memory”?

Knowledge about memory has evolved a lot thanks to the clinical observation of people with "pathology of memory" and the evolution of brain imaging techniques. Memory is a complex cognitive function which refers to three processes: the encoding, the retaining (or storage) and the retrieving of information.

Besides, we are always talking about ‘memory’ whereas we should talk about ‘memories’. Indeed, in this article, I’m going to present several memories (memory system):

  • Perceptive memory and procedural memory. They are both "implicit" memories. This is to say they are solicited unconsciously or involuntarily. Perceptive memory is very related to the senses and especially to sight. It allows to retain images or noises without realizing it. This is why for example a voice, a face or a place may be familiar to us. On the other hand, procedural memory concerns processes that have become automatic. It relates for example to driving a car, walking or riding a bike. When you ride a bike, you do not have to think about every action you take to get there, you do it automatically!
  • Short-term memory or working memory allows us to maintain and manipulate information for a very short time (a few seconds at most). For example it enables us to hold a phone number in mind while writing it down, to perform a mental calculation, or it empowers translators to do simultaneous translations.
  • Long-term memory allows to retain an information for a longer period of time, or even forever! It is part of "explicit" memory (in opposition to implicit memory). The term “explicit” refers to knowledge that we consciously access: it is knowledge we generally know we possess, including knowledge of the world and ourselves. Explicit memory is the one we use consciously to recall several facts or events. Long-term memory includes two memories.
    • The semantic memory refers to overall knowledge, the one we share. For example, you know that Paris is France’s capital city.
    • There is also an episodic memory: it is the memory of our own events. For example, you remember the lunch you had with your brother last weekend. By the way, if emotions are associated with memories, then the trace of the memory will last longer and be stronger. It often happens that the most vivid memories are associated with strong emotions. For example, your children’s birth or your wedding day.

Little bonus: When we talk about memory, we always think about the past. But there is also a memory of the future! We call it prospective memory which involves remembering intentions: it allows us to remember to do an action in the future. "I will get the car back at the garage in 2 hours", "I must go get bread after work".

Finally, when we memorize information, we cause a modification of the connections between the neurons in the brain. Memory systems will involve different neural networks, that is to say different circuits. However, these networks are interconnected and work in close collaboration. Yes, the brain is a dynamic system!


Image

Caroline Joubert: Neuropsychologist

Caroline Joubert obtained a Master’s degree in Psychology from the Université de Caen with a specialisation in Neuropsychology and an Inter-University Diploma from the Université Paris 8 in Psychopathology and Neurological Illness. She has been responsible for neuropsychological assessments and neuropsychological rehabilitation of adults and children in several hospitals in France. At ELLISTRA, she is bringing her expertise in neuroscience to create new content (videos, articles, etc.).

RÉFÉRENCES

  • Eustache F., Desgranges B. (2010). Les chemins de la mémoire. Edition Le Pommier.
  • Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale en collaboration avec Eustache, F.
    (réactualisé le 1 Octobre 2014). Mémoire : Une affaire de plasticité. Inserm.fr, [En ligne]. Page
    consultée le 16 Août 2018. https://www.inserm.fr/information-en-sante/dossiers-information/memoire
  • Jaffard. R., La mémoire déclarative et le modèle de Squire. Revue de neuropsychologie.
    2011;3(2):83-93. doi:10.1684/nrp.2011.0174 (John Libbey Eurotext)
  • Squire., L.R. (2009). Memory and Brain Systems: 1969–2009. Journal of Neuroscience. (41) 12711-
    12716; (Free article).
Impact sommeil sur santé cérébrale

What are the different types of memory?

by Caroline Joubert

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The notion of memory refers to memories, perceptions, attention or actions and contributes to the construction of our identity. But what is that “memory”?

Knowledge about memory has evolved a lot thanks to the clinical observation of people with "pathology of memory" and the evolution of brain imaging techniques. Memory is a complex cognitive function which refers to three processes: the encoding, the retaining (or storage) and the retrieving of information.

Besides, we are always talking about ‘memory’ whereas we should talk about ‘memories’. Indeed, in this article, I’m going to present several memories (memory system):

  • Perceptive memory and procedural memory. They are both "implicit" memories. This is to say they are solicited unconsciously or involuntarily. Perceptive memory is very related to the senses and especially to sight. It allows to retain images or noises without realizing it. This is why for example a voice, a face or a place may be familiar to us. On the other hand, procedural memory concerns processes that have become automatic. It relates for example to driving a car, walking or riding a bike. When you ride a bike, you do not have to think about every action you take to get there, you do it automatically!
  • Short-term memory or working memory allows us to maintain and manipulate information for a very short time (a few seconds at most). For example it enables us to hold a phone number in mind while writing it down, to perform a mental calculation, or it empowers translators to do simultaneous translations.
  • Long-term memory allows to retain an information for a longer period of time, or even forever! It is part of "explicit" memory (in opposition to implicit memory). The term “explicit” refers to knowledge that we consciously access: it is knowledge we generally know we possess, including knowledge of the world and ourselves. Explicit memory is the one we use consciously to recall several facts or events. Long-term memory includes two memories.
    • The semantic memory refers to overall knowledge, the one we share. For example, you know that Paris is France’s capital city.
    • There is also an episodic memory: it is the memory of our own events. For example, you remember the lunch you had with your brother last weekend. By the way, if emotions are associated with memories, then the trace of the memory will last longer and be stronger. It often happens that the most vivid memories are associated with strong emotions. For example, your children’s birth or your wedding day.

Little bonus: When we talk about memory, we always think about the past. But there is also a memory of the future! We call it prospective memory which involves remembering intentions: it allows us to remember to do an action in the future. "I will get the car back at the garage in 2 hours", "I must go get bread after work".

Finally, when we memorize information, we cause a modification of the connections between the neurons in the brain. Memory systems will involve different neural networks, that is to say different circuits. However, these networks are interconnected and work in close collaboration. Yes, the brain is a dynamic system!


Image

Caroline Joubert: Neuropsychologist

Caroline Joubert obtained a Master’s degree in Psychology from the Université de Caen with a specialisation in Neuropsychology and an Inter-University Diploma from the Université Paris 8 in Psychopathology and Neurological Illness. She has been responsible for neuropsychological assessments and neuropsychological rehabilitation of adults and children in several hospitals in France. At ELLISTRA, she is bringing her expertise in neuroscience to create new content (videos, articles, etc.).

Image

Caroline Joubert: Neuropsychologue

Caroline Joubert a obtenu un Master en Psychologie avec une spécialisation en Neuropsychologie à l'Université de Caen et un diplôme inter-universitaire en Psychopathologie et Affections Neurologiques à l’Université Paris 8. Elle a été responsable d’évaluations et réhabilitations neuropsychologiques auprès d'adultes et d'enfants au sein de différents hôpitaux en France, ainsi qu'en libéral. Chez ELLISTRA, elle apporte son expertise en neuroscience pour créer divers contenus (vidéos, articles, etc.).

RÉFÉRENCES

  • Eustache F., Desgranges B. (2010). Les chemins de la mémoire. Edition Le Pommier.
  • Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale en collaboration avec Eustache, F.
    (réactualisé le 1 Octobre 2014). Mémoire : Une affaire de plasticité. Inserm.fr, [En ligne]. Page
    consultée le 16 Août 2018. https://www.inserm.fr/information-en-sante/dossiers-information/memoire
  • Jaffard. R., La mémoire déclarative et le modèle de Squire. Revue de neuropsychologie.
    2011;3(2):83-93. doi:10.1684/nrp.2011.0174 (John Libbey Eurotext)
  • Squire., L.R. (2009). Memory and Brain Systems: 1969–2009. Journal of Neuroscience. (41) 12711-
    12716; (Free article).