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How Memory Affects The Brain

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Just above your ear, inside of your skull, is a small, but important, section of the brainstem called the pons. And during REM sleep, the pons starts a reaction, causing many different kinds of neurons to fire inside your brain. Through all this unorganized firing, the brain is forced to make sense of it all, by using its own memories, to better understand certain things. But is this the only reason why the brain uses memories? To give clarification to the unexplainable? Or is there something else; some kind of additional information or an alternative reason? Several psychologists believe that dreams are initiated from biological activity and are greatly affected by the brain’s neurons and neurotransmitters. Psychiatrist McCarley and Hobson…show more content…
And with this theory, Nielsen and his colleagues expanded on the observation and reported that dreams were connected to an event from 1-3 days or a week before (MacDuffie, K. & Mashour, G. A. 2010, 15). It has also been reported that about 65% of the imagery and the content of dreams are extracted from memories of people and places that have been seen before (MacDuffie, K. & Mashour, G. A. 2010, 14). That is why during REM sleep, most people can recall real-life, vivid memories that they have once experienced consciously all in their dreams. There are indirect evidence for the idea that memory replay during REM sleep involves with the development of declarative and nondeclarative memory, which comes from studies recording the effect of sleep on memory (Frankland, P.W. & Bontempi, B. 2005, 14). For example, brief naps or overnight sleep improves declarative and nondeclarative memory, and some overnight sleep can restore lost memories and enhance insight (Frankland, P.W. & Bontempi, B. 2005, 14). The reason why, intimate events that a person experienced before and is dreamed about again during REM sleep, is to help sustain and develop those memories of events. Through this unconscious repetition of day-to-day experiences, it always results to the preservation of memories that can last for a long…show more content…
Language acquisition and other cognitive skills increase gradually during childhood through dreams, causing learning to continue over a lifespan and for memory to be updated and expanded (Hobson, J. A. 2009, 13). The brain also prepares itself for its many integrative functions, including the consciousness, which its development is time-consuming and a lifelong process that is being constantly used for many things, like providing a virtual reality generator, which can all be demonstrated in dreams (Hobson, J. A. 2009, 29). With the help of dreams developing cognitive skills, results in the preparation for higher mental functions that will take place later on in the future. For example, when dreams display memories of the past, present, or the expected future, they were at first perceived as discrete dimensions, but now it’s distinguished as a level of adaptability of constructive episodic simulation (MacDuffie, K. & Mashour, G. A. 2010, 3). Mirmiran in colleagues studies showed that the amount of REM sleep is an indicator of the level of brain development; this evidence proves that sleep is a key component of neuron development and also may serve as a function beyond processing of past events that can continue to impact into adult life (MacDuffie, K. & Mashour, G. A. 2010, 20). After the analysis of hundreds of research on dreams, scientific evidence concluded that
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