The Brain for Memory

The brain for memory The brain is the most important organ, and any animal, even mosquitoes have them. However, have you thought any special ability of the brain, or have you imagined about your personality, emotion or memory in the situation which you lost a part of brain? In fact, there are lots of great abilities such as memory in the brain without our notice. Although, all the brain’s tasks are not clear completely, a lot of scientists have researched it and found its several miraculous functions (Newhouse 2007). The brain consists of many parts; particularly, this paper describes four parts of the brain which relate to memories or emotions. People who lost those four parts or a part of those would get effects on their memories or emotions. In fact, we can see the after effects from the actual person called Henry M. , whose four parts were removed. We can also realize his unexpected ability after losing his four brain parts. The hippocampus, the entorhinal and perihinal cortices and the amygdale have very important roles in our memories and emotions. First of all, the hippocampus, which is the most important area for memory in the brain, transmits information from short-term memory to long-term memory (Foer 2007). Information collected by the senses is received in various parts of the cortexes within milliseconds, and this process is called immediate memory. Then, the frontal cortex takes the information and keeps it to be able to use immediately. The frontal cortex also coordinates using the information by other parts of the cortex, and this process is called working memory. Short-term memory means these immediate and working memories. After that, relative facts start to be encoded with the help of the hippocampus and other areas of the medial temporal lobes within a few seconds, and this work means changing to long-term memory from short-term memory. The neural connections in the cortex, which is stimulated by information, are trained not to forget and connected with emotional circumstances. The hippocampus ties up with memories, but it cannot store memories. Therefore, long-term memory is transported to the region of the cortex (Mapping memory 2007, p. 3). Moreover, the hippocampus is also important for information as spatial memory, which relates to geographic information (Brain structures and their functions? n. d. ). Secondly, the entorhinal cortex, located at the caudal end of the temporal lobe, is also important for memory in the brain. It helps the main input to the hippocampus, and is accountable for the process of the input signals. The entorhinal cortex also assists stimuli which relate to the eye and the ear, and it contains the ability of spatial memory. The relationship between the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus is essential for memories’ strength and pruning during sleep <https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Entorhinal_cortex>. Thirdly, the perirhinal cortex, located in the medial temporal lobe receives processed sensory information from all sensory regions. It is an essential region for memory and visual cognition, and has connections with the hippocampus as well as the entorhinal cortex. It also enables the recognition and confirmation of environmental stimulations <https://en. wikipedia. rg/wiki/Perirhinal_cortex>. Finally, the amygdale, called a ‘feel processer’ (LeDoux 2009), is the hub of neural connections and very important for emotional problems which relate particularly to fear, so it allows action in threatening circumstances quickly (Mapping memory 2007 p. 43). Damaging the amygdala means losing fear conditioning and emotional responses because the amygdala usually releases stress-hormones. It also relates to positive conditioning (LeDoux 2009). Thus, these parts are important for memorizing emotionally, visually and auditorily. In particular, the hippocampus is necessary for memories to transfer from short-term memory to long-term memory; otherwise, people would have forgotten everything even if they had kept the other three parts without damage. Removing all of those or a part of those influences to people’s memories and their personality and quality of life. Firstly, people who lost the hippocampus might not memorize anything because it makes transfer information from short-term memory to long-term memory (Foer 2007; MC 2007). Information is stimulated to be strengthened in the cortex as long-term memory; otherwise, it will be pruned (Mapping memory 2007, p. 3). Moreover, it may be hard for them to remember geographic information because of the lack of spatial memory (Brain structures and their functions? n. d. ). Therefore, the brain without the hippocampus means that people do not have long-term memory, which is necessary for memorizing information. Next, losing the entorhinal cortex, which stimulates visual and auditory information and includes spatial memory, and the perihinal cortex which has the faculty for visual recognition, also influences the ability of memory <https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Entorhinal_cortex; https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Perirhinal_cortex>. Therefore, people who lost the entorhinal cotex would not develop information visually, auditorily and spatially, and people who had the perihinal cortex removed would not identify anything visually. Moreover, people who lost the amygdale may change their personality because it is necessary for emotional expressions which are associated with fear particularly (Mapping memory 2007, p. 43). Thus, the brain without the amygdale means that people could not feel anything and would have a lack of emotions, both negative and positive; they do not feel not only angry, sad, and depressed but also glad or pleasant. Their personality would seem to be calm; therefore, even if they found a person who had a knife on a street, they would not fear the person. Finally, people who lost those parts of the brain would lose their quality of life because they cannot memorize anything, recognize visual and auditory information and express their own emotions. As a result of lack of these abilities, people would not keep their jobs and relationships with their families, lovers or friends. Normally, in work, it is important to memorize the process such as producing cars in an assembly plant, and to express emotions is also necessary for work as a salesman. Their lovers or friends would wash their hands of them because they could not interestingly reply to what they said. In addition, their family would have to take care of their life forever, and it would cost a lot of money. Therefore, both people who lost those parts of the brain and their families would not enjoy their lives. People who lost the hippocampus, the entorhinal and perihinal cortices and the amygdale would lack several abilities such as memory, recognition and emotions; therefore, their personality and quality of life would change to be boring and worse. We already knew these effects from the true story which relates to Henry M. , who lost memories; however, he also had unexpected ability of memory Henry M. , who had had anterograde amnesia, in which he cannot remember new information, and retrograde amnesia, in which he lost old memories, instead of his previous disease, serious epileptic seizures, contributed a lot of studies to the brain (MC 2007). He had an operation to remove the amygdale, the entorhinal and perihinal cortices and two thirds of the hippocampus from his brain, because Dr. Scoville had found out that the cause of Henry M. s epileptic seizures had been in his brain (MC 2007). As a result of this operation, his epileptic seizures were less serious than before, but he lost not only previous memories but also the ability of memorizing new information. However, researchers found out lots of new information about the brain by studying him (Foer 2007; MC 2007). As a result of the operation, Henry M. lost several abilities which relate to the brain. According to MC (2007), Henry M. could not memorize any events more than fifteen seconds because he had taken the operation to remove two thirds of the hippocampus. It implies that it is hardly able to transfers information from short-term memory to long-term memory for him. Therefore, he could not use declarative memory, which is the one of the abilities of memory that people recall things with conscious thinking, such as what happened yesterday evening, and episodic memory, which deals with unforgettable experience. He also lost a part of his old memories for ten years before the operation because the surgeon who operated to remove parts of Henry M. s brain might have damaged his cortex, which is stored old information. However, he could use? nondeclarative memory, which signifies that people recall things without consciously thinking, such as how to tie shoes. Because nondeclarative memory does not need to use the hippocampus, Henry M could continue to use old information located in the region of the cortex by the nondeclarative memory (Foer 2007; MC 2007). Moreover, according to ‘Mapping memory’ (2007, p. 43), habits and motor skills work in the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. Therefore, after he trained for simple motor tasks repeatedly, he could remember the tasks and perform a simple job. It means that he had motor skills (Foer 2007; MC 2007). Next, he lost the entorhinal and perihinal cortices, which relate the ability of recognizing and identifying visual and auditory information <https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Entorhinal_cortex; https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Perirhinal_cortex>. Therefore, Henry M. could not distinguish any people who met with him visually, and he also hardly recognized people auditorily after his operation. Moreover, the amygdale was also removed which is associated with emotional control. As a result of the situation, he always said he was happy, but it was not real happiness (Newhouse 2007). He could not feel anything, not only fearful things but also grateful things; therefore, he could not choose any other words when he was asked his feeling. He may never change his feeling; he may always be calm. However, he had unexpected ability of memory because he had remembered the name of JFK, who was assassinated as the president of the United States of America (Newhouse 2007). Even though the accident happened in 1963, after his operation, he could remember the name. He also could memorize to associate from Dr. Corkin’s last name to first name, Suzanne, who had interviewed Henry M. for her research for more than forty years. Because one third of his hippocampus could still work, he could transfer information to the cortex as long-term memory and make neural connections with various parts of the brain (Newhouse 2007). In addition, his spatial memory, which is associated with geographic information, worked a little. In fact, after he had walked the same route around his house many times, he could memorize the route, and he also remembered the floor plan of his house to which he moved after his surgery (MC 2007). Despite not having the entorhinal cortex, which works for spatial memory, he could recall easy geographic information. His one thirds of the hippocampus also might work to memorize the geographic information (Foer 2007; MC 2007). Thus, he could consolidate information which relates to strong impressions or everyday habits. It means he had the ability to perform declarative memory, even though it should be easy to memorize such as only name. He also had to repeat them many times because he had only one third of the hippocampus (Foer 2007; MC 2007). In conclusion, Henry M. could not memorize most of all new information because he had lost the amygdale, the entorhinal and perihinal cortices and two thirds of the hippocampus from his brain. His personality also changed. When a scientist asked him whether he was happy or not, he said ‘Yes. Well, the way…’ (Quoted in Newhouse 2007). He could not show any other feelings. On the other hand, he could remember small things such as a name or easy spatial information because he still had one third of the hippocampus. Therefore, these parts of the brain have very important roles in our memory and personality, and removing these parts means changing our quality of life. Scientists had spent a lot of time to research the brain, such as Henry M. ’s case, and had realized many functions of the brain, and they are still trying to find other functions because the brain still has unknown areas (Newhouse 2007). It means that our brain is one of the most complicated organs. Reference Brain structures and their functions n. d. , viewed 16 January 2009, <https://serendip. brynmawr. edu/bb/kinser/Structure1. html>. ‘Entorhinal cortex’ 2009, Wikipedia, viewed 9 September 2009, <https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Entorhinal_cortex> Foer, J 2007, ‘Remember this’, National Geographic, November, viewed 26 August 2009, < https://ngm. nationalgeographic. com/print/2007/11/memory/foer-text>. LeDoux 2009, ‘Amygdala’, Wikipedia, 29 August, viewed 7 September 2009, <https://en. ikipedia. org/wiki/Amygdala>. ‘Mapping Memory’ 2007, National Geographic, November, pp. 42-43. MC 2007, ‘Remembering Henry M. ’, Epilepsy, History of Neuroscience, Memory, Neuroscience, 25 May, viewed 30 November 2007, <https://neurophilosophy. wordpress. com/2007/05/25/remembering-henry-m/>. Newhouse, B 2007 H. M. ’s brain and the history of memory, NPR, viewed 6 September 2007, < https://www. npr. org/templates/story/story. php? storyId=7584970>. ‘Perirhinal cortex’ 2009, Wikipedia, viewed 9 September 2009, <https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Perirhinal_cortex>

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