Memory Process and Brain Plasticity: The Relationship
Memory concerns with the processes, which record and allow later access to events, people, and information. It is the ability of an individual to encode, store and retrieve any information. Encoding is acquisition & representation of information in some form. Storing of information requires processes like rehearsing information repetitively. And retrieval of information pertains to searching out or acquiring information from the stored material. In brain the formation of memory is resultant of neural impulse combinations known as neural pathways. These neural pathways are accountable for our reservoir of memories.
Despite all the myths, it is true that: Memory can be improved. This is because the brain has the capacity called Plasticity. It is the ability of brain to reorganize neural pathways in order to learn new information, retain and memorize it. One example of brain plasticity is an individualís ability to partially or fully recover from speech or memory loss due to some form of brain injury, viz. stroke. Research reveals that human brain never loses its plasticity, even into very old age. Thus with the help of brain exercises, which keeps the brain active by various means, memory can be kept intact for longer periods of time and age. Brain exercises involve some form of learning or adapting combinations of existing skills in new ways. Thus, brain exercise induces formation of new neural pathway or association between already produced neural impulses or strengthening of long-buried neural impulse. Hence, to strengthen memory is to strengthen the neural connection between two stimuli.