Monday, May 23, 2022

How To Improve Semantic Memory

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Dementia May Erase Words From The Dictionary

Teaching Strategies: How To Use Effective Questioning Techniques Easily to Improve Semantic Memory!

More recent research links deterioration of the anterior temporal lobe to the difficulties understanding what a word means exhibited by people with some types of dementia. Although people with Alzheimers disease most commonly exhibit this abnormality, it is most prominent in a type of aphasia known as semantic dementia. When you speak with these individuals, they may start off sounding normal, but you will notice that they refer to all sorts of different items as the thing or a similar word. As you talk with them further, you will discover that they do not know what certain words mean, such as medicine or shoe two examples from one of my patients.

Why You Need To Improve Your Episodic Memory

Even if thats not the case, heres the thing:

In everyday life, episodic memories come to our rescue all the time. These memories are essential to:

  • Remembering to go to your dentists appointment
  • and much, much more!

Episodic memories also enable you to recall and reminisce personal experiences that are an important part of your life.

Can you imagine not being able to do that with other people who were part of those events? That would be sad.

Especially since such memories create a sense of personal history as well as a shared history with other individuals in your life.

More importantly, episodic memories allow you to travel back in time and be consciously aware of a re-experience of important life experiences.

Trisynaptic Circuit And Its Association To The Hippocampus

The Trisynaptic circuit is what hippocampus is occupying major sensory input which enters through the entorhinal cortex. Its a bundle of fibres with input tracks acting as a hub for the widespread network for memory. These fibres project into the granule cells of the dentate gyrus. This is the prefrontal pathway and the first pathway of the trisynaptic circuit.

From here dentate gyrus ill transmits its signals to CA3 through the mossy fibres which are the second pathway. These fibres have dense reciprocal connections that can generate new electrical activity. A single mossy fibre projects around 30 pyramidal cells of CA3. CA stands for Cornus Ammonis into four subgroups CA1 – CA4. This is the major division of hippocampus. This name comes from the similarity of hippocampus shape to ancient Egyptian who has same elevated head knots.

Then there comes the third pathway called Schafer Collateral Pathway connects CA3 to CA1 collateral neurons where it has the greatest number of NMDA receptors in the brain. Finally, CA1 neurons project into the Sibiculum which is considered a major output region for the hippocampus. It goes to cortical and subcortical regions. The input to subiculum from all cortices of the hippocampus and send projects into the fornix but get back into the entorhinal cortex to complete the loop.

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Ological And Theoretical Approaches To Studying Episodic And Semantic Memory

This lack of methodological depth and breadth in the study of semantic memory has made it difficult for researchers to offer complete and comprehensive theories across distinct forms of memory. For example, Nadel and Moscovitch note in their seminal paper laying out the points of similarity and divergence between standard consolidation models and their multiple trace theory that most studies of remote general semantic knowledge do not include detailed tests sensitive enough to detect deficits, which limits the comparison to other forms of memory. More recently, Yonelinas et al. proposed an alternative to standard systems consolidation theory called contextual binding theory which focuses nearly exclusively on the role of the hippocampus in episodic memory. Discussion of semantic memory was cursory, with the authors simply stating that whether or not contextual binding theory might be applied to semantic memory is an open question. Indeed, given the dearth of semantic memory studies with sufficient depth and sensitivity, this is all that can be said. This lack of data and methods may also make it more attractive, or tractable, to test hypotheses for which there are more established data and tools . Thus, over the past several decades, not only have researchers moved further away from testing if episodic and semantic memory has shared neural correlates, but, as a field, we are ill-equipped to do so.

Semantic Memory: What Is It And Why Is It Important

Teaching Strategies: How To Use Effective Questioning ...

Shannon V. McHugh, PsyD

Researchers have long studied the way human memory works to determine how memories are stored both short and long term and the functions and purpose of memory storage. When people think about memory, it is common for them to first think about how their own experiences in life get stored in their brains and how these reminders of the past affect their lives in the future. This is what researchers call episodic memory, or specific and personal memories that help a person understand the world when they are reminded of them. Examples of this would be the memory of a first date with your romantic partner, remembering the color of your shirt on the first day of school, or being reminded of something your mother or father had always told you, etc. These memories are ones that can help you to remember how youve become the person you are, and can instill feelings of nostalgia and other feelings, as they are more tied to the emotional centers of our brain.

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The Centrality Of Semantic Memory In Human Behavior

Human brains acquire and use concepts with such apparent ease that the neurobiology of this complex process seems almost to have been taken for granted. Although philosophers have puzzled for centuries over the nature of concepts , semantic memory became a topic of formal study in cognitive science only relatively recently . This history is remarkable, given that semantic memory is one of our most defining human traits, encompassing all the declarative knowledge we acquire about the world. A short list of examples includes the names and physical attributes of all objects, the origin and history of objects, the names and attributes of actions, all abstract concepts and their names, knowledge of how people behave and why, opinions and beliefs, knowledge of historical events, knowledge of causes and effects, associations between concepts, categories and their bases, and on and on.

Examples Of Episodic Memories

Some examples of episodic memories might include:

  • Your memory of your recent trip to Disneyland
  • Where you were when you learned that a loved one had died
  • Your memory of your old cell phone number
  • Your memory of your first day at your job
  • Your recollection of your first date with your partner

Remember, each person’s episodic memory of an event is entirely unique. Even other people who shared the same experience may have slightly different recollections of what happened.

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Semantic Memory: An Example

Did you have toast and eggs for breakfast while reading the newspaper?

Well, even if the answer is no, check this out:

The fact that you know and recognize objects like toast, eggs, and newspaper is the working of your semantic memory.

However, recalling that you had toast and eggs for breakfast yesterday is part of your episodic memory .

In this post, Ill explain what is semantic memory and why is it important, how is it formed and how can you improve it.

Episodic Memory Examples Are Easy To Find

What is Semantic Memory | Explained in 2 min

More examples of episodic memory would include your memory of your first day of school or your first kiss.

Apart from your overall recall of the event itself, episodic memories also involve your memory of the location and time that the event occurred. And it is important to notice that these memories are time bound. They have a beginning, middle and an end.

For another powerful episodic memory example, please watch this video. It includes some powerful exercises that will help you improve your episodic memory too:

Someone elses recollection of that same event or experience would be different .

If you want to remember past events in its full technicolor details, you must strengthen your episodic memory.

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Interdependence Of Episodic And Semantic Memory

It’s been a long debate in neuropsychology in concern to both dependence on each other. Tulving’s made a great effort in distinguishing between semantic and episodic memory in early 1972. The studies showing interdependence reveals that bot memories have a profound effect on each other. The effect is in terms of encoding and retrieval.

When theres damage to medial temporal lobe severe episodic impairment can be seen that has a profound effect on both anterograde and retrograde memories. This will cause impairments in recalling the past event and bringing new connections into the future. The semantic memories are a bit different, MTL loss does not affect factual concerns. For this type of memory takes a valid space in the neocortex.

But there are certain cases when semantic memory is lost. It happens in the case of semantic dementia where progressive neocortical degeneration is seen. The verbal stimuli are non-differential for such patients and changes in other modalities like odour and taste.

Neuropsychological studies have after all come to the point that both memories are independent. It reveals that there are certain situations when one memory time remains intact while the other is impaired. These both are doubly dissociable bringing us to the conclusion that both are relatively distinct.

Thus, there are different narratives on the perspective of interdependencies varying from theorists to theorists.

Episodic Memories And Your Experiences

Episodic memory is a person’s memory of a specific event. Because each person has a different perspective and experience of an event, their episodic memory of that event is unique.

Episodic memory is a category of long-term memory that involves the recollection of specific events, situations, and experiences. Your memories of your first day of school, your first kiss, attending a friend’s birthday party, and your brother’s graduation are all examples of episodic memories. In addition to your overall recall of the event itself, it also involves your memory of the location and time that the event occurred.

Closely related to this is what researchers refer to as autobiographical memory or your memories of your own personal life history. As you can imagine, episodic and autobiographical memories play an important role in your self-identity.

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Why Is My Memory So Poor

Do you struggle to remember words, names, or where you placed things? Or do you easily forget information that you are supposed to remember?

Poor memory can be attributed to a number of reasons.

The most obvious cause can be age. Memory performance starts to decline when we reach our 50s and 60s. This is mostly natural, however, and does not necessarily mean you are developing dementia.

Other reasons for poor memory can include lack of sleep, a poor diet, alcohol abuse, medication side effects, depression, stress, and anxiety.

The Left Temporal Lobe: Your Brains Dictionary

Most Effective Way to IMPROVE MEMORY (&  Memorize ANYTHING ...

Several landmark papers have examined where semantic memory is stored in the brain. In 1996, two related studies were published in an article in Nature.

For the first, the researchers enrolled over 100 patients with strokes and other brain lesions in their left temporal lobe. They asked these patients to name famous people, animals, and tools that were man-made objects. They found that the location of brain lesions affected recall. Patients with the most anterior lesions had the biggest difficulty naming persons. Patients with the most posterior lesions had the greatest difficulty naming tools. And those with lesions in between these areas had the most difficulty naming animals.In the second study the researchers had healthy adults name famous people, animals, and tools while undergoing a positron emission tomography scan that showed brain activity. As expected, naming people yielded the most anterior activity, tools the most posterior activity, and for animals the activity was in between.

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Why Is Semantic Memory So Important

We all need semantic memory to function smoothly in our daily lives. We use it every day to learn, retain, and retrieve new information. It is part of our cognition.

Children and teenagers use it to retain new information that they learn at home or in school, while adults need it to know the sequence of tasks necessary to do their job.

Without semantic memory, you wouldnt know that the sky is blue or that birds can fly. Your concepts about time and space or meanings of emotions like love and hate are incorporated in your semantic memory.

If your semantic memory is damaged due to any type of disease such as Alzheimers disease, you may not be able to identify or name everyday objects, understand the concepts of liberty or know what the word coffee means.

There are many benefits to strengthening your semantic memory.

A stronger semantic memory would result in improved long-term memory in students enabling them to do better in studies.

More importantly, strengthening your semantic memory would enable you to perform better in all aspects of your life without taking vitamins for memory.

Listening And Sorting Activities

Teachers can use listening and sorting activities for improving students’ listening skills, which further supports semantic learning. For example, provide students with three-step movement directions. Ask for a student volunteer to act out the movement in front of the class. The “Simon Says” game is another listening activity that requires students to apply what is heard. Teachers also can implement activities requiring sorting and classifying. Students can group pictures according to similarities .

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Heres A Fascinating Fact:

The hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and perirhinal cortex encode declarative memories. These are then consolidated and stored in the temporal cortex and other brain regions. Procedural memories, on the other hand, are encoded and stored in specificbrain regions cerebellum, putamen, caudate nucleus, and the motor cortex.

Another category of declarative memory known as the autobiographical memory, is similar to episodic memory in that both are personal memories from the past. However, while autobiographical memory is more general, for example, when you recall the street name of a house growing up, episodic memory is more specific to time.

Are Episodic Memories And Autobiographical Memories The Same

RAPIDLY Improve Episodic Memory: 4 Fun Memory Exercises!

Not exactly!

Autobiographical and episodic memories are personal memories from the past.

However, autobiographical memory is more general, for example, when you recall the street name of a house growing up.

On the other hand, episodic memory is more specific to time.

Its like remembering your 13th birthday party that took place on a particular street.

Although autobiographical memory involves episodic memory, it also relies on semantic memory.

For instance, you can remember the city you were born in and the date, but you wouldnt have any specific memories of being born.

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Be Aware Of Medication Side Effects

Did you know that certain medications can interfere with our cognitive ability to remember information? The side effects of some medications can be particularly detrimental to our cognitive functions.

Before taking any medication, it is always important to check what the side effects might be. The reason for this is that some side effects can have a negative impact on brain performance, including the ability to concentrate, focus, and remember information quickly.

Medications such as antidepressants, inhibitors, and sleeping pills can all affect and pose a risk to brain performance. One major side effect of these medications in particular is drowsiness, which will immediately result in reduced focus and memory.

Several studies also claim that certain medications might interfere with memory, affect memory retention long-term, or increase the risk of memory loss to a certain extent. These include antidepressants, sleeping pills, antihistamines, statins, anti-seizure medications, antianxiety pills, and narcotics.

To improve memory, both short-term and long-term, it is important to check medication for any possible side effects that can harm cognitive performance.

Brain Regions Related To Semantic Memory

The neuroscience behind semantic memory has long been a subject of debate. There are many clinicians and researchers who hold that brain systems which store semantic memory are the same which store episodic memory .

According to this view, the hippocampal formation and the medial temporal lobes are viewed as playing a vital role in storing semantic memory. This proposition holds that while the hippocampal formation enables the formation of memories by encoding them, the cortex stores the encoded memories.

This hypothesis additionally suggests that because the hippocampal formation includes not merely the hippocampus, but also the entorhinal cortex and the perirhinal cortex which constitute the para-hippocampal cortices, the encoding of information may be physiologically based outside the hippocampus itself.

Support for this theory stems from a study of amnesiacs who managed to demonstrate intact semantic memory despite damage to their hippocampus. The para-hippocampal cortices of these subjects had been spared.

Contrary to the above view however, some researchers hold that semantic memory resides in the temporal neocortex, while some others hold that it is distributed across all brain regions .

The second group for instance, holds that the memory of a dog may stem from both the visual cortex and the auditory cortex. While a dogâs bark may have registered in the latter, a dogâs visual features may have entered the former.

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Embodied Abstraction In Conceptual Representation

illustrates several prominent theories that differ in the proposed level of separation between conceptual and perceptual representations. Models based on disembodied, symbolic conceptual representations are often criticized on the grounds that such symbols are ultimately devoid of content . From an empirical standpoint, the extensive evidence for involvement of modality-specific sensory, action, and emotion systems during language comprehension is also inconsistent with such a model.

Possible relationships between perceptual and conceptual representation

At the other end of the spectrum are `strong embodiment’ models in which perceptual and conceptual processes are carried out by the same system . These models are inconsistent with the evidence for modality-independent semantic networks reviewed above. Furthermore, conceptual deficits in patients with sensory-motor impairments, when present, tend to be subtle rather than catastrophic. In a recent study of aphasic patients , lesions in both sensory-motor and temporal regions were correlated with impairment in a picture-word matching task involving action words. This evidence is incompatible with a strong version of the embodiment account, in which sensory-motor regions are necessary and sufficient for conceptual representation.

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