One of the most intriguing and complex organs in the human body, the human brain still continues to challenge scientists and doctors. Much more is now known about it than even 10 years ago, but there is still much left unknown. Scientists still only have an elementary understanding of the complete function and processes of the brain.
Considered the master control of the body, the brain is sometimes compared to a computer with its ability to store information. Even with this comparison the brain is much more complex.
Weighing only about three pounds, the brain is split into four lobes, frontal, occipital, parietal, and temporal. As the senses bring in information, each lobe has areas that analyze, process, and store it. Memories from past experiences are stored in what can be compared to an internal filing system, making learning and remembering possible.
There are two types of memory. Semantic, which is a persons knowledge about language and the world. For example, what a bike is and how to ride it. Episodic, is the memory of a day or an event its self and all the surrounding circumstances. There is some evidence that suggests memories may be formed by the formation of new brain circuits or by changes in the existing circuits.
Like a computer, the brain receives sensory input, processes it, stores it and recalls it when needed. In a way all its own though, the brain uses chemical processes to send electric signals to the proper place.
It is not completely understood how the brain stores information. We do know however, the brain has a large capacity for memory, recalling it is the problem. Most humans only use about 1/4 of their brain.
Short term memory is based on what our five senses, sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste, take in. If the informations isn’t used often it will in essence be discarded or forgotten. If it is something used frequently, then it will be placed in long term memory so it can be recalled as needed.
Due to this learning, or recalling sensory input, is thought to be a result from small adjustments of the strength of the synapses. Synapses are the connectors that allow the electric impulses to be passed to the neurons in the brain.
Researchers continue to study the brain and its many functions. There are some aspects that may never be fully understood, but every advancement helps in regards to understanding and treating brain disease and disorders. The brain is an organ that not only challenges scientists but mystifies them.