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Visual memory

Аuthor: Аbikenova Ayazhan

Editor: Аibulova Diana






        How often do you think about how the brain works as a repository of information? There is so much information stored in our brain that we are not even aware of how it is remembered. Why is it that we memorize some events of our lives fleetingly and unconsciously, while we memorize some information purposefully and make efforts to retain it in our memory?


        We access 80% of our information through our vision, which means that in this case we are talking about visual memory. There is a category of people who have a fantastic visual memory and after reading a text or looking at an image, they are able to describe what they have seen to the smallest detail. Now I wonder if the existence of "photographic memory" is real?


       Scientists have been studying memory from a neurophysiological and psychophysical point of view for many years, even centuries, in order to better understand the sequence and the whole chain reaction that takes place in the brain during perception of new information. This aspect has not been fully explored, but in the course of endless research, scientists have still managed to find more detailed explanations of the aforementioned issues.


         Memory consists of three main parts: perception, memorization and reproduction of information. Here information is everything we see, hear, read and learn every day. If perception is automatic, the other two links require careful study. What draws attention here is the process of recognition, which consists of two components: the first component is the feeling of the "familiar", and the second component is the retrieval of information from memory. The first component is similar to the process of perception, that is, it is turned on automatically, for example, you accidentally meet a person and know that you have definitely seen him somewhere, a feeling of something "familiar" is felt. And in order to remember the name or the name of this same "familiar" or the event when you met him, you need to make an effort, and this concerns the second component. This is where it becomes clear: the first component is closely related to visual memory, it is also associated with short-term memory. It's a little confusing, but let's get to the bottom of it.


       Scientists did an experiment: A group of people were shown a picture, told they could only stare at it for 3 seconds, and then the picture was removed after that time. When the participants were asked to describe the picture, the result was a pleasant surprise, as they were able to describe everything to the smallest detail. However, after a few days, the same participants were no longer able to recall the details of the previous picture. This demonstrates the close relationship between visual memory and short-term memory, and the automatic reproduction of information from it is only available for a short period of time from the moment of perception. This notion does not mean that people have weak memories, but proves that information that is not repeated regularly is stored in long-term memory, but it takes more time and effort to retrieve information from it compared to short-term memory. This experiment is just one such large-scale and productive study, and it proves that, yes, photographic memory does exist, but it is developed differently in everyone. There are many scientific papers describing the mechanisms of memory processes, but we will tell you more about this next time.


       Memory really is an amazing thing: we can remember the color of a button on our favorite dress from childhood, but forget the color of a friend's car we saw last week. We are able to tell verbatim a story we once heard from our grandmother long ago, but we can forget important information from a lecture at university. Of course, the quality of attention and the mood of the person, the complexity and volume of information play an important role in remembering certain information, and yet we would like to go deeper into the details of the mechanism of our unique ability to remember.