Why does my brain behave this way?

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    We spend so many years doing research on how the brain functions but it remains a mystery.

    I have a complaint about the brain: the information I study only for a short while does not get committed to my long term memory or even my short term memory (or at least, I don't recall it in detail). I always have to commit months and years of repeated exposure and focus on something in order to fully understand it. Though, I might be wrong about that. Perhaps I get annoyed when I really know something in January and then a year later I know next to nothing of it and I become frustrated; I feel as if my brain has let me down. I once committed this stuff to my long term memory (or did I), then why, months later, does my brain not pick it up anymore? Can't my synapses reach each other?

    Now, I am not a medical expert but the basic principle of brain function and memory is that a synapse gives off a chemical reaction to another synapse. When the brain is exposed better and longer on something, then the synapses' chemical paths traverse various synapses, intertwining with each one. This complex convolution of chemical brain activity enables the brain to deeply understand something. It is a most wondrous phenomenon.

    My question is.. why does my brain behave this way? Why do other people seem to have it easier to recall things? I'm not dumb and I'm much smarter than average. Do I not commit material enough? Do I commit it with the wrong frequency? Why does my brain sometimes refuse to give me the information I want to recall? What do I need to do to keep that information there? How long does it take for me to internalize a concept? I always feel like a snail compared to others because I always need to have eons of alone time with a subject in order to comprehend it. I feel like everyone is a grunt worker and I'm a scientist.

    I hope someone understands my problem.

    So many questions..
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    The assumption being made is that long-term memory is permanent- it's not. The long-term memory simply has a "flatter" forgetting curve than short-term memory which has a steeper curve. In other words, items in your long-term memory take longer to fade away whereas more recent memories fade away quicker. If you managed to get something commited to long-term memory, it simply means you need to spend less time/effort keeping it there. If you want to keep something in your long-term memory, you need to review it, but not as often as something in your short-term memory. See pretty pictures below:



    Or if that doesn't work....

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    Thank you Mr. Jack. It helped me understand this problem somewhat.
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    (Original post by 571122)
    We spend so many years doing research on how the brain functions but it remains a mystery.

    I have a complaint about the brain: the information I study only for a short while does not get committed to my long term memory or even my short term memory (or at least, I don't recall it in detail). I always have to commit months and years of repeated exposure and focus on something in order to fully understand it. Though, I might be wrong about that. Perhaps I get annoyed when I really know something in January and then a year later I know next to nothing of it and I become frustrated; I feel as if my brain has let me down. I once committed this stuff to my long term memory (or did I), then why, months later, does my brain not pick it up anymore? Can't my synapses reach each other?

    Now, I am not a medical expert but the basic principle of brain function and memory is that a synapse gives off a chemical reaction to another synapse. When the brain is exposed better and longer on something, then the synapses' chemical paths traverse various synapses, intertwining with each one. This complex convolution of chemical brain activity enables the brain to deeply understand something. It is a most wondrous phenomenon.

    My question is.. why does my brain behave this way? Why do other people seem to have it easier to recall things? I'm not dumb and I'm much smarter than average. Do I not commit material enough? Do I commit it with the wrong frequency? Why does my brain sometimes refuse to give me the information I want to recall? What do I need to do to keep that information there? How long does it take for me to internalize a concept? I always feel like a snail compared to others because I always need to have eons of alone time with a subject in order to comprehend it. I feel like everyone is a grunt worker and I'm a scientist.

    I hope someone understands my problem.

    So many questions..
    Sounds like your high expectations may be part of what you're feeling.
    Try cues, and making associations with learned information? Should help with recall.
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    (Original post by MasterJack)
    The assumption being made is that long-term memory is permanent- it's not. The long-term memory simply has a "flatter" forgetting curve than short-term memory which has a steeper curve. In other words, items in your long-term memory take longer to fade away whereas more recent memories fade away quicker. If you managed to get something commited to long-term memory, it simply means you need to spend less time/effort keeping it there. If you want to keep something in your long-term memory, you need to review it, but not as often as something in your short-term memory. See pretty pictures below:



    Or if that doesn't work....

    (Original post by 571122)
    Thank you Mr. Jack. It helped me understand this problem somewhat.
    "Memory consolidation"?
    Once learned well, I assume it is primarily the cues that degrade and the information becomes harder to reach.
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    Sounds like your high expectations may be part of what you're feeling.
    Try cues, and making associations with learned information? Should help with recall.
    It definitely does. When I study information in a divergent, multi-lateral, multi-sensory way then I recall it much better. Mindmaps have also proven very helpful for me.

    This actually reminds me of one of the my main complaints about many professors: don't just rush your students through lessons, don't assume they know what you're saying. I find one of the crucial parts to understanding something is explaining the ontology, the etymology, the background of something. Don't just tell me that Brownian motion is just the discovery of a bunch of molecules interacting, no, tell me that once there was the question of why things seemed to have invisible friction, tell me how Einstein discovered it, tell me how it relates.. I need the full picture.
 
 
 
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