Our brain is not hard-wired. Our state of mind, emotional content of experiences, and the environment in which a memory event happens all affect how, how strong, and how long we remember an experience.

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The amygdala receives visual input from both subcortical and cortical areas.  It is believed that images directly from the subcortex are less refined but reach the amygdala faster (left). Pictures from the cortex are highly detailed but take a longer route (right). The amygdala can be activated in response to a fear cue even before there is conscious awareness of the trigger.

Remembering ways around

​You remember your way home. Some birds and animals store food for later use and memorize their locations. In both cases, the type of memory involved is referred to as spatial memory.

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Our short term working memory may be processed in a very small, specific area in the brain giving rise to a “bottle neck”, according to two studies reported in the journal Nature.

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In general, face recognition depends on a few regions of the temporal lobes. Shown are areas in the left brain of a right handed person.<br>The first few months of life appear to be critical for forming the neural framework for face recognition.  Neurologist Claudio Bassetti of the University Hospital of Zurich in Switzerland has pinpointed an area essential for the processing of both faces and landmark deep inside the back half of the brain.  <br>(Picture modified from Szpir M: Accustomed to your face, Am Sci 1992, 80:539)

How does memory work? Where are memories stored? Let us enter the mystic land of memory by looking at the different stages and types.

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