The faculty by which past experiences, what we have seen, heard, thought and so on, are reproduced in the mind is called memory. Any experience is linked up more or less with others, and recollection of one idea is likely to recall other ideas that are linked or associated with it. When the mind is allowed to wander, the idea with which one begins is often, usually, in fact, far separated from that in the mind when one again becomes attentive to what one is thinking, but it is possible to trace back along the line of thought and discover the links.
These links, or associations, are of various kinds It may be that the two ideas have been considered closely together, or perhaps relate to things closely connected in time or space, or they may even be cause and effect; or they may exhibit a striking similarity or contrast. In systems of memory-training much emphasis is laid on the recognition of such links, and, when no obvious link exists, on their artificial creation.
The effort to remember, then, means to rummage in a deliberate way along lines of association, although the process is often accomplished unconsciously and with incredible swiftness. An experience is more easily remembered if it has made a deep impression in the first instance, or has been often repeated. Accurate observation is therefore a powerful aid to memory, and in saying this one is re-minded that memory or any other so-called faculty of the mind cannot be clearly separated from other faculties; the mind works as a whole.
Experiences strongly colored with emotion are easily remembered, but, if the emotional crisis appears to demand it, all memory of the experience may be entirely repressed. This happens frequently enough to soldiers, and it happens to others. It has to be recognized that barriers to remembrance come to exist in the mind, and though experiences may appear to be forgotten they may often be brought to light by emotion.
Another evidence of the existence of active barriers to remembrance is furnished by the phenomena of double consciousness, in which the experiences in one phase are not remembered in another, and vice versa, although it is, of course, the one brain that does the thinking for both.
As regards remembrance generally, the usual state of affairs is that a person is able to recall recent events, while others become more elusive the more distant they are in point of time; but in old people the memory for recent events may be very poor, while the experiences of early life remain quite vivid.
The loss of memory is called amnesia.
Application and treatment:
Memory is that mental faculty by which ideas, visual impressions and sensual sensations are recalled… It is the capacity to retain and revive impressions, to recall or to recognize previous experiences. A recollection entails an amount of mental activity.
Every experience is recorded in the brain but continuing experiences and impressions, depending upon their degree of importance to the person involved, “block” or screen away, a great majority of added on or past expressions and impressions which cannot be recalled. Forgotten impressions are sometimes recalled with the aid of hypnosis.
Some persons who have tumors of the frontal lobes of the brain suffer some loss of memory. Hardening of the arteries and blood vessels causing diminished circulation of the blood coming on with old age also have influenced memory adversly in some cases.
The bombardment of the mind by radio and radar and sonar and electromagnetic radiations causes the memory to be spoken of as “good” or “bad” or forgetful”. The details recalled are usually a matter of the person’s concentration at the time it happened.
Amnesia, the loss of memory, is the inability to recognize ideas represented by words. Anterograde amnesia is loss of memory directly following severe shock or trauma.
Auditory amnesia is the spoken word, and the person’s inability to recognize familiar sounds. In retrograde amnesia, memory of all previous experiences is lost and the loss is of variable duration.
In some cases positive and negative polarity applied to each side of the head and reversed at 5 minute intervals for about 15 minutes at a time might be helpful.
Amnesia may be partial such as losing one’s memory for names, sounds or colors; it may be general with the loss of the greater part of memory. Even in total amnesia certain habits are recalled such as writing, walking and reading. For applications; See: Mental disease.. Intelligence.. Irritability..