City Observer Newsletter 17 August 2017

The University of Queensland’s Qld Brain Institute (QBI) recently published in “The Brain” some interesting findings for all of us to consider in relation to learning and memory. Prof Pankaj Sah, Director of QBI wrote that, “Neuroscience and experimental psychology have made great strides in understanding how learning occurs and the factors that influence it…Memory is the process of encoding, storing, and retrieving experiences and knowledge…It’s hard to overstate the importance of memory. It is what makes us who we are…Explicit memories are ones we can consciously recall. But there are implicit memories which may be even more important. For example,, when you talk, you’re using motor memories to move your lips  and tongue in a way that reproduces sounds you’ve learnt…If we didn’t have memories we’d just be a body, unable to communicate or identify danger much like a newborn baby – oblivious to how to survive in the world around us…What we typically think of as memory, is explicit memory. This can be divided into episodic memories, which are events that have happened in your life, and semantic memories are retained facts or general knowledge. The other type of long term memory is unconscious, or implicit. These are memories you can’t consciously bring to mind, but which shape your behaviour. 

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