3.b) Persistence of brain memory
3.b.1. Short-term memory
All the information that has been dealt with since the last time the system was cleaned or maintenance was performed will be found in this memory, that is, since the last time a person slept enough time to perform this task.
The degree of conservation or state of the information will depend on the mentioned time and, of course, on the physiological or genetic capacity of each individual.
This memory will feed mainly on the data that has gone through the auxiliary working memory, from both medium and long-term memory, and the experience and reasoning during normal life through our perception.
Due to historical evolution, this memory is most efficient for approximately 16 hours, reserving 8 hours daily for its maintenance. Probably not all the time that we sleep is used to clean short-term memory; a significant amount of time is also dedicated to the transfer of information from medium-term to long-term memory (to state it simply), and other diverse maintenance functions.
There are short-term memory cleaning systems that are highly recommended and others advise against strongly. Just say the first will not be easy to obtain if there are elements in the short-term memory that generate tensions and demand the individual's attention. In regards to the latter, the effects of abusive ingestion of alcohol can be an example; this can in turn give us an idea of the effects of non-abusive but counterproductive ingestion, especially for the information contained in this memory.
Maintaining information as organized as possible is a way of optimizing the information contained in short-term memory; this will probably make us take in a lot of information that we cannot organize immediately but that we can store to deal with and order afterwards. This eliminates duplicated information and permanently saves information, or similar concepts for reference, and, in this way, saves a large quantity of the memory's capacity or information archive.
In the future, it is very likely that computers will always be working, whether by running requested programs or by reorganizing them.
We can already cite programs that can run automatically: defragmenting and maintenance of the hard drive, cleaning of the Windows system log, search for and downloading of news or any type of program, information compression, anti-virus, etc.
The expression of medium-term memory is useful but does not precisely reflect the nature of its content.
The information retained for a rather long time is in this memory. However, this period will be larger the more the information is relational and contains less concrete information. That is, the information obtained is not only directly, but rather by its relation to other information also saved in the memory.
In this respect, independently from whether certain information is saved in the memory in its original state, (like the birthday of someone you are close to) medium-term memory tends to be more fixed as the information is transformed into concepts and these are defined by the base of a system of multi-dimensional references.
Over time, concepts will only remain in the designated form; precise information usually ceases being useful. If relevant, becomes a part of instantaneous memory and the memorized relations tend to be incorporated into the cited multidimensional system. Moreover, if required, the system will add a new dimension.
Not all these processes are free from errors; the mechanisms that are good in the majority of cases can turn out to be very inadequate for others.
One of the circumstances that concern me the most occurs when an act or an idea repeats many times during a certain period, and especially when it appears as a hypothesis that develops in various ways. In accordance with normal mechanisms in the brain, this act or idea will save in layers that go deeper and deeper into our brain memory.
Afterwards, when our memory accesses this information, it will be likely to interpret this as its own already accepted information because it is in a deep layer.
The error can be significant -a strange idea is supplanting our true knowledge or feelings!
It is called brainwashing and it is likely to occur, for example, when we read a book that repeats something thousands of times. Each time we read it, the brain has enough time to memorize the idea or transfer it to a deeper layer. Of course, this effect depends on the ideas and the individuals.
This expression is more correct than the previous one in that it clearly implies long-term, but also needs some clarification as far as its nature.
If medium-term memory is configured like a multidimensional system, long-term memory is formed independently of the famous 'birthday' by an exclusively multidimensional system in which there are less dimensions than in medium-term memory, and these are the base of the essential character of a person, not of their knowledge. We are referring to what the commonly known as general personalized principles such as justice, equality, liberty, respect, education, benefit of the doubt, etc.
Knowledge or concepts are found ordered in the deepest medium-term memory layers, or otherwise stated, in the most superficial layers of long-term memory.
The necessity to re-adapt these principles to a greater or lesser extent is an interesting effect that occurs in personality growth and development. Obviously, the unconsciousness does not like the idea; changing these principles supposes, to some extent, the recognition of some errors in them; this is a large task because all of the remaining memory will change and will need to readjust. In these periods, the person will probably sleep more than it used to.
Following the thread, this vision is coherent with the fact that people sleep less, as they get older in normal conditions.
Here, we are not referring to a visual or emotional memory but rather a very special type of memory of visual-emotional nature that is similar to extra-fast movies when a person thinks there is a certain probability that he/she will die in a matter of seconds.
The content varies from person to person but usually tends to be a sequence of very symbolic emotive images in chronological order.
Another type of super special and super persistent memory could be the genetic memory, which contains all of the genetic information transmitted to the descendants.