Have anyone of you wonder how our mind works? No doubt that everyone is captivated with memory. We utilize our memories every second as we live, we use it more than we realize. What defines memory? It is our past experiences that apply to our present identity. We began to question and reflect on what really makes up our respective identities in terms of who we are, what are we doing and why do we do this.
The list of questions can be stretch into an ongoing mysterious road. Remember how we stood up to go and get something from another room, fascinating enough that we simply couldn’t remember what it was as soon as we get there? Another example would be having a conversation with someone and you are entirely sure that you got something to ask the person, yet you have forgotten after a minute or so.
We all had the experience of having the invisible fleeting dash on our mind while reading an exam question or solving a particular riddle. We have all tried to strive in obtaining certain information that we thought it will be at the back of our brain. Yet, it is more difficult than we thought. Is memory reliable? telling us all the truth that is happening especially our sense of self…Can we trust our memory?
When people ask about an incident that happens years ago, are you 100% sure or confident that you don’t miss any details about the incident? Memory will fade as we grow older yet some seniors can still remember parts of their life experience when they are young. People with Alzheimer are most likely keeps forgetting on the daily lives such as what has she eaten, what has she done and where is she, slowly they forgets the name and eventually forgets everyone and including herself.
Besides focusing on the reality, media that constructs the role of memory played on us. The fear of memory loss and the lost of identity are the common dilemmas that were faced by the main characters from Momento (2000) to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004).
Both movies or any other similar genres have no binaries in terms of memory loss. These films depicts the tragedy that surrounds the memory in forced, causing it to be fragmented and destructed. Usually, the characters are absent minded on their initial identities and gradually they welcome this new identity which transform them into a mixture of both old and new identities.
Without seeking professional advice, I would assume that memory is a very fragile thing- the memories are lost because you wish that you would not remember something and memories are recovered only because something triggers your mind into remembering it. The whole psychological process is quite complicated.
However, I know that some episodes of our life will always be remembered. The ones that dominate all other minor memories will always kept in a spot on our mind that can be easily retrieved. During the early 20th century, the mind was visualized as an infinite row of filing cabinets, there are some which are too far away while some just a stone throw away. Similarly in this modern era, the mind is much like a computer, storing, processing and analyzing date. Of course, we work less efficient than our computers. We don’t store everything, we delete partial memories and keep those that we ought to be keeping. That is why some things you will never forget, while some that you try to remember, but it will never etch in your mind permanently.
According to researchers, memory, emotions and our sense of identity are inextricably connected together because the areas of the brain that process identity communicate directly with the areas that deal with memory and emotions
The process of re-remember something is known as reconsolidation which meant that the brain creates new proteins so that new pathways in accessing the information can be effectively carry out. The bits of information forms a puzzle of the memory. When there is missing information, the system has a degree of malleability which causes the problem of encoding the memory. Memories are a chemical functions process within our brain. When we recall something, the brain will create proteins to make sure the link between areas of the brain is stabilized.
As we communicate with people that we came across and interact with our environments, our mind is malleable- it can be molded and reshape throughout the happenings around us. It can change and it can be fixed in certain times. Changing environments causing our memories to deal with the development of human nature and soon it will adapt to any possibilities in life which either disrupting the mind or adding in new information.