Monthly Archives: October 2016

Cognitive Deficits Associated with Epilepsy

For now, I am going to continue talking about epilepsy. However, this time you all get to hear about one of the lovely side effects that comes with having seizures, as well as the current treatments for them, specifically medications. I will be focusing on memory because it is the one of the most difficult cognitive issue that I deal with on a daily basis. As I was doing my research, I noticed that no one seemed to be concerned with which process of long-term memory was being effected. However, at least there are finally therapies for the cognitive issues related to epilepsy.
A study conducted by Witt and Heimstaedter in 2012, found that 47.8% of their subjects experienced memory deficits. Other studies have shown that “greater impairments on testing correlate with… longer duration of the seizure disorder, earlier age of onset, greater seizure frequency…” ( Leeman-Markowski & Schachter, 2016, p.184). Leeman-Markowski and Schachter also mention that patients who have TLE (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy) are prone to having memory loss, sometimes verbal and sometimes general memory issues. The medications used to attempt to control seizures also can cause cognitive side effects.
The older antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are said to have a higher risk of causing problems with “response inhibition, verbal fluency, attention and vigilance, psychomotor speed,… and memory, as well as subjective confusion and memory loss” (Leeman-Markowski & Schachter, 2016, p.186). One of the newer AEDs that I am on and am experiencing the side effects from is zonisamide. According to the article written by Leeman-Markowski and Schachter (2016), it has been found that the most common possible side effects cause “deficits in verbal intelligence, verbal learning, delayed verbal and nonverbal memory, and verbal fluency”. In other words, I am often making long pauses, or say things like “umm…”, in the middle of speaking because I lost my train of thought. Even composing this entire post has been a challenge because my ability to recall what I want to say is a challenge. There have also been many times that I have had to look up the definition of words, even ones that I have “learned” in the past, because I have no idea what they mean. Needless to say, it is extremely frustrating, not only for myself but for the people around me as well.
As far as treatments go, the first listed is to keep the pharmacological use to a minimum. In other words, try to avoid using more than one AED at a time, when possible, and keep the patient at the minimum dose of the AED(s) possible. Besides that, the most common treatment for the issues listed above is cognitive rehabilitation, which usually incorporates things like direct retaining, external compensatory strategies, and internal compensatory strategies. The issue with these types of treatment is that they may work for one deficit, but not work for others. For example, a study conducted by Engelberts, Kein, Ade et al. (2002), found that even though there was improvement in patients’ attention with the use of both direct retraining and compensatory strategies, the improvements did not apply to things that were not directly related to the training program. Treatments that are under investigation are mostly comprised of Alzheimer’s treatments, which there is not much information about right now.
While I have no idea whether the memory issues associated with epilepsy are caused by encoding or recall problems, they are none-the-less annoying. Hopefully one of these days, the cognitive issues associated with epilepsy will be a thing of the past. I am just hoping that it happens in my lifetime.

Leeman-Markowski, B.A. & Schachter, S.C. (2016). Treatment of cognitive deficits in epilepsy. Neurological Clinics, 34, 183-204.

Zombie for the Week. ahhhhhhhh!

This past week I had every symptom of the horrendous head cold; body aches, fever, fatigue, cough, congestion, and memory loss. Yes, that is right, memory loss! Everything that has gone on around me seems to be now a lost memory in my brain fog! I now have a hard time remembering anything that had occurred during the (seemingly) endless sickness, which also includes where I placed my keys!

My infection surely was affecting my attention, which in our text is defined as “the ability to focus on specific stimuli or locations” (Goldstein, 2015, p. 86) and short-term memory, defined as “the system involved in storing small amounts of information for a brief period of time” (Goldstein, 2015, p. 126). I was in a haze or how my children described me, a walking zombie, only capable of maintaining the normal everyday routine tasks but nothing further. It seemed extremely difficult to acknowledge any new information or even remember my name. My poor family, who tried to keep their distance, never truly received a straightforward answer and constantly found random items in the oddest places, i.e., a milk gallon in the pantry. Dr. Andrew Smith has found when cytokines antibodies are doing their job to fight off the “ugly” infection, they can disrupt encoding new information, verbal reasoning, and semantic processing tasks, making short-term memory tasks difficult to remember (Smith, 2012), which surely describes me in my case.

After the flu symptoms started to subside about a week later, I could not believe that a little cold really affected my cognitive ability to remember small things. According to, University of Southampton’s U.K., the immune system’s defenses chemically alters the ability to retain any new information and memories during the duration of the illness. Thankfully, the research has shown that this lack of memory or mental fogginess will subside after the illness has passed (University of Southampton, U.K., 2008). Now, it is time to TRY and remember where my keys are!



Goldstein, E. B. (2015). Conitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research, and Everyday Experiece (4th Edition ed.). Cengage Learning.

Smith, A. P. (2012). Effects of the common cold on mood, psychomotor performance, the encoding of new information, speed of working memory and semantic processing. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity , 26 (7), pp. 1072-1076.

University of Southampton, U.K. (2008, March 22). Selective effects of upper respiratory tract infection on cognition, mood and emotion processing: a prospective study. The National Center for Biotechnology Information , 22 (3), pp. 399-407.



Hold up, What’s you say? I’m driving…

Hold up, What’d you say? I’m driving….

Why is that many think they can talk on the phone, text while driving and not get distracted?  It’s so common these days.  My daughter and I even seen a lady, driving head fully looking down texting, almost hitting the next car and swerving into us!  Even just “talking” on the phone is indeed distracting.  “Driving is one of those tasks that demand constant attention.”  (Goldstein, 2011, pg. 94)

David Strayer and William Johnson (2001) did a laboratory experiment, which involved driving tasks requiring the participants to put on the breaks rapidly for a red light. As the experiment showed, more missed lights occurred due to cell phone use while driving, as well accidents occurred.  (Goldstein, 2011, pg. 94)

“Epidemiological research has found that cell phone use is associated with a four-fold increase in the odds of getting into an accident—a risk comparable to that of driving blood alcohol at the legal limit.”  The Psychological research shows that whether hands on or hands off, using a cell phone while driving, the driver’s attention on the road becomes very distracted, focus is limited, and they become “even worse than if they had too much to drink.” The driver’s reaction times to actions required while driving and talking on cell phone became much slower.  (American Psychological Association, 2006)

Even a “sophisticated, real-world study confirms that dialing, texting or reaching for a cell phone while driving raises the risk of a crash, or near-miss…”, which personally I find to be true.  Just simply reaching for your phone or even if you have Bluetooth installed in your car, does increase those risks.  Even talking on the Bluetooth, you definitely are distracted, especially if traffic is heavier, in higher merge area, or someone can come out of nowhere. It does impair, or reduce your ability to react as quickly as you would need, or perform a task, and you can miss a light by just talking even hands free. That is from my own personal experience.  (CBS News, 2014)

I personally have talked on my cell before I had blue tooth, and I find that is much more distracting than Bluetooth, and have even thrown my phone down before as it became necessary and I realized how distracting it was with what was going on with traffic around me.  Texting definitely a no-no, eyes are off the road.  “You don’t swerve so much when you’re talking on a cellphone; you just might run through a red light…” as Strayer said.  But again, from my own personal experience even with the Bluetooth, it is still just as distracting, taking your attention off the road, and slowing your reaction down, and enabling you to become more able to become in a motor vehicle accident.  (CBS News, 2014)

I now pull over, even with Bluetooth if I must be engaged in a conversation. There is too many distractions on the road, especially with cellphone while driving abuse so common.  I definitely agree with author of our book, that it is equivalent, if not worse than driving while impaired.  I hope everyone will take into consideration the true dangers, with or without Bluetooth about talking on a cellphone and driving, and definitely won’t consider texting while driving. Be safe people.  Don’t use your phone and drive.



Goldstein, 2011, pg. 94

American Psychological Association, 2006, February 1, Driven to Distraction, Retrieved from:


CBS News, 2014, January 2, Distracted Driving Study:  Cell phone dialing, texting, dangerous.  Talking? Less so.  Retrieved from:

New Insight into the Mechanisms Involved with Memory Consolidation

Brian Brennan
Dr. Jonathan Hakun
Psych 256 (002)
October 16, 2016

New Insight into the Mechanisms Involved with Memory Consolidation

Whenever an individual speaks of a memory contextually, the neurological mechanisms that’re responsible for carrying out such an action are largely implicated in the cortical connections previously established by hippocampal activity. This is all made possible due to the process of memory consolidation, which is defined as the process by which information that has entered the memory system becomes strengthened to such an extent where it is resistant to interference caused by trauma or other events (Goldstein, 2011). Such traumatic events, such as being concussed, sometimes result in a form of amnesia whereby the individual experiences a loss of memory for events that occurred prior to the traumatic event, known as retrograde amnesia. Based primarily in the graded property of retrograde amnesia (i.e., amnesia that is worse for experiences that occurred just before the brain injury), the standard model of consolidation was developed; this model, which precisely delineates how we are able to retrieve such vivid contextual memories, implies a complex and dynamic interplay between the hippocampus and various cortical regions, and has been widely accepted as the most accurate interpretation of the neurological mechanisms involved with consolidation, for the most part. Nevertheless, this model has left a great deal of ambiguity with regards to the possibility of other brain regions and similar neurological components being responsible for memory consolidation. To that end, a recent research study posted in the journal Science investigated a question aimed at furthering our understanding of the mechanisms involved with long-term memory consolidation, specifically with respect to the involvement of what’re known as Engram (memory) cells.
Before delving into the complexity of an Engram complex, it is primarily important to begin with an overview of the standard model of consolidation. According to this model, memory retrieval depends on the hippocampus during consolidation per se; however, once consolidation is complete, retrieval no longer depends on the hippocampus, and instead operates by means of intracortical connections. To expand upon this, this model explains consolidation as occurring through a sequence of three neurological events. The first step, involves the hippocampal coordination of memory information into their respective cortical regions. Because memories involve many different cognitive and sensory areas in the cortex, incoming information from a new experience is distributed across the respective cortical regions, which is coordinated via the hippocampus. The second step, which is the core feature of consolidation, is known as reactivation. In the reactivation stage, the hippocampus replays the neural activity associated with the given memory, which was previously established in the network connecting this structure and the aforementioned cortical regions. This activity results in the formation of connections between and within these cortical regions (as opposed to connections between the hippocampus and the cortex), which are subsequently strengthened upon each and every reactivation. The third and final step can be deemed the consolidation stage, whereby the cortical connections have been reactivated and subsequently strengthened to such an extent that the hippocampus is no longer needed to retrieve the given memory (Goldstein, 2011). The process of memory consolidation per se is made possible through a phenomenon known as long-term potentiation (LTP), which is the increased rate of neuronal firing that occurs due to prior activity at the synapse, resulting in structural changes and enhanced responding. The most noteworthy point of this model is the notion that the synaptic strength resulting from LTP and cellular consolidation is a pivotal aspect in the reactivation process, and hence the ability to store a memory. However, the likely possibility of other brain structures being involved in memory consolidation, names Engram cells, raises the question of whether or not these structures rely on the same mechanistic processes implicated in the standard model of consolidation.
According to Susumu Tonegawa and colleagues of the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, an Engram can be defined as the enduring physical and/or chemical changes underlying newly formed memory associations that’re elicited by learning (Tonegawa, Xu, Ramirez, & Redondo, 2015). Moreover, Engram cells are populations of neurons that’re activated by the process of learning, undergo enduring cellular changes as a consequence of learning, and whose reactivation occurs through part of the original stimuli delivered during learning resulting in memory recall (Tonegawa et al., 2015). But how exactly are these cells implicated in memory consolidation? A team of researchers at the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology tried to answer just that; that is to say, they were interested in determining whether or not the mechanisms involved with standard model of memory consolidation are applicable to Engram cells, and to what extent.
Taking into consideration the structural changes that must occur in order for the formation of new memories to be made possible, the team of researchers used lab animals to stop this from occurring, thus inducing retrograde amnesia. By using injections of anisomycin, which is an antibiotic protein synthesis inhibitor, the team of researchers was successfully able to prevent these synaptic changes from occurring, thus hindering the ability for new memories to be formed (Ryan, Roy, Pignatelli, Arons, & Tonegawa, 2015). According to Bruce Goldstein, the key to the experimental usage of this antibiotic is when the injection occurs (chap. 7, pp 168-201), and the researchers state that this task was carried out “immediately after contextual fear conditioning” (Ryan et al., 2015). Prior to experimentation, the research team proposed that a specific pattern of connectivity of Engram cells is crucial for memory information storage and strengthened synapses in these cells would contribute to the overall memory retrieval process (Ryan et al., 2015). However, they found that the latter assertion was in fact false.
Based on their data, the researchers were shocked to find that increased synaptic strength resulting from cellular consolidation is not a crucial requisite from storing a memory (Ryan et al., 2015). Because the lab animals had been in a lab-induced state of retrograde amnesia, it was assumed that the ability for them to retrieve the memory associated with the initial contextual fear conditioning. However, when the team used a single-cell light-inducing experimental technique, the memory was in fact retrievable for the animals, indicating the mechanisms being independent of the synaptic firing rate involved with long-term potentiation (Ryan et al., 2015). These findings collectively illustrate the illusory nature of the neurological mechanisms involved with such complex cognitive processes such as memory. To that end, this research has opened the door for others to answer how exactly memory Engram cells operate with respect to memory consolidation.


Goldstein, E. B. (2011). Long-term memory: Encoding and retrieval. In L. Schreiber-Ganster (Ed.), Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research, and everyday experience (3rd ed., pp. 168-201). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning Inc.

Ryan, T. J., Roy, D. S., Pignatelli, M., Arons, A., & Tonegawa, S. (2015). Engram cells retain memory under retrograde amnesia. Science, 348(6238), 1007-1013. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5542.

Tonegawa, S., Xu, L., Ramirez, S., & Redondo, R. (2015). Memory Engram cells have come of age. Neuron, 87(5), 918-31. DOI:

Filtering at It’s Finest

I went car shopping last weekend and bought a new car! It is a red Honda Accord. My old car was white. Ever since I got my new car, I am seeing a plethora of red cars and Accords! I live in the city and drive the same way to and from work every day and I did not remember there being so many red cars. It was as if I started filtering information differently. The phenomenon of seeing more of the same color and make of my new car is based on selective attention, bottleneck model, and cocktail party effect.

Selective attention is “the focusing of attention on one specific location, object, or message” (Goldstein, 2011). Since I was now driving a red Accord, it was much more present in my mind, therefore anything close to it would trigger my attention to shift and for me to focus on the red car or the make of mine.

The next step in my attention process for noticing more cars like mine is the bottleneck model. “The bottleneck model filter restricts information flow” (Goldstein, 2011). The bottleneck model takes in all the information and cuts down the flow to only physical features. In my case, the ‘look’ of the car will pass through drawing my attention to the red car.

Lastly, the cocktail party effect weighs in heavy. The cocktail party effect is when something immediately pertaining to you triggers your attention to shift and focus on the stimulant (Goldstein, 2011).  For example, when you are at a party and you hear someone say your name or someone you know you will start to ease drop (wonder how it was awarded the name ‘cocktail party effect’). When I hear someone talking about a Honda Accord or a red car, I automatically tune into conversation and want to participate.

I never realized how many red cars or accords were out there until I started filtering the ‘new’ information. I do not remember having the same feeling with my first car, but it was also a hand-me-down from my parents, I was already in a predisposition to see similar cars around. Filtering has a crazy way to impact everything you pay attention to. Selective attention, paired with the bottleneck model, and cocktail effect, it is no wonder I am paying more attentive to them.



Goldstein, E. B. (2011). Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research, and everyday experience. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.


How a Mom’s Memory Chang….Wait, what was I talking about?!

About 3 years ago, I found myself forgetting and doing some of the silliest things (worse than normal). I would do things like hand paperwork to someone to look over and when they would come to talk to me about it the next day, I had no recollection of even going in to their office. I would also find things like boxes of cereal in the refrigerator or a drinking glass in the spice cabinet. I would stop talking mid-sentence and completely forget what it was I was even talking about. My short term memory was shot and I thought for sure I was losing my mind and that I was going to have to go see a doctor. Well… I did end up having to see a doctor but it was because I was pregnant. I had fallen victim to “pregnancy brain” which later turns in to “mommy brain”, or also known as “momnesia”. I then immersed myself in research to figure out what to expect while I was expecting and what exactly was causing me to forget what seemed like…everything.

Pregnancy brain, though not a technical medical term nor is it something that is medically diagnosed, is still a very real thing. So what is it exactly that causes this sudden onset of severe forgetfulness and misplacing of random items? It is already commonly known that a woman goes through a series of different changes during pregnant – everything from the belly to crying at the drop of a hat to wanting to throw up at the sight of her favorite food. Well the brain goes through some changes as well.  The first thing that increases is, of course, hormones. According to Louann Brizendine, MD (2014), director of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco there can be up to 40 times more progesterone and estrogen levels in a woman’s brain during pregnancy and each can have its own effect on the neurons of the brain and can affect things like spatial memory. Many women find that their pregnancy brain gets worse and worse as they progress through trimesters and that can be attributed to the continually increasing hormones. Although they can be blamed for many things, hormones are not the only culprit to be blamed for a decrease in memory in pregnant women.

Another contributor to the reason why my car keys would end up in the silverware drawer was the fact that the number of brain cells in my brain actually decreased and my brain began to shrink. Not to fret though, it should have returned back to normal size within six months after birth. This happens naturally in just about every pregnant woman. So…take a smaller brain, plus increased crazy hormones and add in a complete lack of sleep and ta-dah! you have severely affected cognitive ability and short term memory loss. It is believed that lack of sleep, for any number of reasons (for me it was from heartburn, my arms falling asleep – at least one of us could, frequent trips to the bathroom and the fact that I was the size of a small boat and unable to get comfortable), can just plain make a woman’s brain tired. A tired, cranky, smaller brain is definitely in no shape to function at its maximum capacity.

I would like to say that there is hope out there for all pregnant woman everywhere, but unfortunately there is not. Although the increased hormone levels and brain size begin to go back to normal, the lack of sleep is still there (with a whole new list of factors) and mommy brain then takes over. Sticky notes, the small notebook I carry around in my purse, and the notepad on my cell phone have become my absolute best tools since having my daughter. Although I sit here and cannot even remember what it is I had for lunch today, being able to snuggle that little girl every day makes every cold box of cereal worth it.

babybrain babybrain2

(These sum up the days I have some times)


Mann, D. (2014, September 3). Pregnancy Brain: Myth or Reality? (T. Johnson, Ed.). Retrieved October 13, 2016, from

Make the Grade

Continuously trying to become a better student is a constant and important lesson in both students of grade school and college today. Personally, I am always looking for the next best way to study so as to prevent that last minute cram and better my grades which will afford me greater opportunities. It is a wide and diverse market for study tools and new technology, but is there a “magic” recipe to better studying? It may not be out J.K. Rowling’s magical series but more based off our Psychology textbooks. When attempting to master studying and achieve greatness as a student while keeping factoids filed away for better future use there are basic strategies that incorporate encoding and surpass the quick fix study helps.

So you have decided to commit to being a better student? Great, the best bet to achieve this would to be reflect on Psychology’s principles on encoding information into long term memory. Long-term memory typically requires more effort but the results suggest that deeper processing of material leads to better memory (Nyberg, 2002). For example, last minute procrastination does not afford the time or “revisiting” needed to change from short term memory to long term. In order to effectively process in long-term memory you should elaborate the material, distribute the learning time, practice, and use visual imagery.

To elaborate on the curriculum you should contemplate on the subject matter, how it relates to real life or even yours, and in doing so you are creating more memories of your thoughts on the subject matter. Rather than last minute procrastination it is better to distribute the work load in smaller sessions since this forces the brain to revisit the topic and become more familiar with the subject matter. By practicing you ask your brain not only to recall more information but to use it. Visual imagery can come in a variety of mediums whether it be flash cards, flow chart, drawing concepts, or taking notes. By the act of visually seeing the information combined with the action of creating and writing it you are more likely to recall what you have physically written. According to a recent study done on graduate level online only students, note taking that is spontaneous in choice and detail oriented is more effective and help the student to retain knowledge (Watkins). This lends to support the act of physically transcribing and taking the time to do so will help you to remember the details.

While hard work seems to have always been a common adage for proper learning it is apparent that the work put into studying does not need to be hard, but only to be active, repetitive,  and by choice. Fortunately, through psychological science we are making everyday events, like studying, an even better quality and easier task. In result choosing better techniques to study will help you choose your grade.



Nyberg, L. (2002). Levels of processing: A view from functional brain imaging. Memory10(5-6), 345–348.

Watkins, R., Corry, M., Dardick, W., & Stella, J. (2015). NOTE-TAKING HABITS OF             ONLINE STUDENTS. Quarterly Review Of Distance Education, 16(3), 1-12.

Disneyland Drama

So I am at Disneyland with my boyfriend and his family for the next few days. I am usually very cognisant of my belongings, I do not carry a large purse or valuable items. Part of my military service included a tour overseas, so I am aware of how easily things are taken without your knowledge. I thought the part of our lessons regarding attention were particularly interesting for this reason.

I have experienced and witnessed being robbed in a crowd, or while your things are unattended. What baffled me was the clip we watched where the man had his scarf, phone, and other items taken right off his body! Even watching it I missed some of them items. And why? Because he was telling me what to pay attention to? That blows my mind. I would like to think especially with my training I might be more aware, more adept to notice and be able to take action against a sly crook. The fact that it is just a part of how our brains are wired seems insane to me. Once I reviewed the video another time I was able to spot what was happening, but it still baffled me that most people, myself included wouldn’t notice as it was happening. In our lesson commentary, it is noted, “these top-down processes of attention can explain why we can easily miss things that happen in our visual environment. While we attend to certain aspects of our visual environment, we can completely miss important events.”

This lesson has made me very aware of my surroundings on this trip. While I have not had anything taken from me here, I can see where the opportunities lie. Especially in an environment littered with tourists. Thieves don’t even have to be sneaky if they simply understand how to distract our attention.

I suppose it isn’t all bad. On a positive note, I was able to write this blog post in a potentially distracting environment. I could watch TV, or chat, keep myself distracted. But we do have the ability to specifically focus our attention. So at least it isn’t completely out of our control. Maybe we will evolve with more situational awareness in the future 🙂

STM, LTM, and Placing Orders

During Lesson 6 and 7 we discussed Short Term Memory (STM) and Long Term Memory (LTM). Typically, STM is capable of holding about five or nine items in its memory slot. If repeated multiple times, it’s usually stored in our LTM section of the brain. Along with this discussion, we were introduced to a Phonological Similarity test where each individual had to go through memorizing a series of randomly generated letters and try to remember the order in which they were given. STM and LTM play such a large role in our everyday lives. While it wasn’t until I had friends over and offered to buy them Starbucks that I realized my STM is quite shorter than I realized. It also made me recognize, with a simple everyday activity, just how common it is that we utilize both STM and LTM.

So it was a Sunday morning and I had company over. I decided to treat everyone to some coffee at a local Starbucks. Of course, no one wanted to come, but they all wanted coffee so I figured I’d take their orders and drive out on my own. While asking for their order I realized that after the fifth person, the previous orders were already forgotten. I quickly opted for everyone just to text me their orders since the only thing I remembered was my sister’s Grande Soy Mocha (hot) with whipped cream and my Grande Cinnamon Dolche latte with a single shot, hot as well, with whipped cream and no cinnamon on top. That’s when I stopped. I couldn’t remember everyone’s order, not even the simple tall Vanilla Bean Frap, but I surely remembered my complex order or my sister’s order as well.

So let’s talk about STM, short term memory only lasts about 30 seconds or so, and we only remember a few digits at that. The Phonological Test showed us that it’s easier for humans to remember the first and last words/letters in a list, but we easily forget everything in between, unless it’s repeated and then sent to our LTM category. Back to me, standing in my living room with five individuals staring me down all the while calling their orders out; I could only recall the last order I was given. And even with only one order successfully mentally jotted down, I personally knew that by the time I’ve arrived at the location, which was a 20-25 min drive, I would surely forget everything that was requested of me.

So why did I remember my complex order and my sister’s? LTM. Long term memory comes into play when items are repeated. Over the years I change my order up of course, but that’s not to say that my Cinnamon Dolche isn’t a classic favorite. And no matter how many times I get it, it’s always the same in that order I listed earlier (single shot, no cinnamon on top, Grande, whipped cream…yum!). After ordering it many times over the years, it’s no wonder I recalled it so easily compared to the randomized list of coffees my guests were giving me.

And so, in the end, it was interesting to realize how we utilize both types of memory in regular everyday activities. The only time I personally ever really thought about it was when I heard of people suffering from mental disabilities (strokes or accidents where there was brain injury). It never occurred to me how vital these two compartments of our brain are until these last few chapters and then recognizing it with something as simple as placing an order for my guests at a local Starbucks was an interesting experience.


Works Cited

Goldstein, E. B. (2015,2011). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research, and Everyday Experience (4th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

9-11 attack and Long term memory.


Have you ever wonder how you remember things that happened 10, 15 or even 20 years go? Thank Long term memory for that. Memory is divided into three stores based on the amount of information each one can hold and the length of time it can be stored. There is sensory memory which can last between .5 to 5 seconds, working memory which is acoustic and visual which can last 20 seconds and long term memory which can last years.

Memory is the process which is involved in retaining and retrieving information which are no longer present. Everyone recalls long term memory daily. The process to recall information is called retrieval. Long term memory is the system that is responsible for storing our memory for a long period of time. Our long term memory is basically an archive.

Have you ever passed by a place and then you retrieve a memory you never gave much thought about? I have. A few months ago, I went home to NYC to be a “tourist guide” to a cousin of mines travelling for the first time to NYC. I happened to drive her downtown Manhattan by the freedom tower. As I drove by the Tower, a memory of 9-11 came through and I became nostalgic. I was 19 years of age and classes has been cancelled at NYC Tech in Brooklyn NY. It was my first college semester and I felt like my “grown up” life was unreal. I remember exactly how I felt and how the towers looked from the east side of Manhattan. All I saw was a cloud of dust and people while some has dust on their clothing. My autobiographical memory is to blame for this.

Also, I can remember like it was yesterday getting home and watching the news. Those bodies falling of the windows of the Twin towers will forever belong in my long term memory. Episodic memory has to do with me remembering this specific event. Sometimes I wonder if my flash bulb memory is wrong, or altered. Flashbulb memory is basically a snapshot of an event, in my case of the 9-11 attack.

In conclusion, we go through life using memory. Some we store in our long term memory, some we don’t. One thing for certain is that we use our visual, acoustic and long term memory from remembering what I did a few seconds ago to what I was doing on 9-11.



The Human Memory: Episodic and Semantic Memory, Luke Mastin (2010). Retrieved on 10/16/16 from

Goldstein, B. (2011). Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research and everyday experience (3rd ed.). Wadsworth, Inc.