Associations or Links

When you experience a new event, the hippocampus starts communicating with the parahippocampus, which is a big part of the neighboring "association cortex" in the brain, to see if the new event can be associated or linked with an older memory in storage. If it can be linked, the event is easier to remember and a new "memory link" is formed in the hippocampus and parahippocampus, which may in turn link up to even older memories stored in other parts of the temporal lobe or the frontal lobe. We all use associations or links, sometimes without even consciously knowing that it's happening. For example, some physical feature of a new person you meet, such as the eyes or forehead, can trigger a memory of a completely unrelated person who had similar eyes or forehead. This is a useless association because it doesn't help you in any way. On the other hand, linking a new acquaintance with another "memory storage" person with the same interests or in the same profession may give you a head start on dealing with this new acquaintance.

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