Memory and Human Survival

1544 Words Jul 14th, 2018 7 Pages

After a motor vehicle accident Tom was left with an acquired brain injury with damage to the frontal lobe and the left temporal lobe. As a result Tom has been experiencing many difficulties, in particular with his memory. Memory refers to the mental capacity to retain information and convert it into a form that can be stored and retrieved at a later time. Storing and retrieving memories involves passing information from one stage to the next and then retrieving that information from long-term memory. (Burton, Westen & Kowalski, 2012, p.261) Memory is an integral part of human survival and without it, learning new skills, such as the ones required by Tom to regain his loss of function, could never prevail.
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Declarative memory is further divided into semantic memory and episodic memory. Semantic memory is an acquired meaning of structured record of facts, meanings, concepts and knowledge about the external world whereas episodic memory is memories of experiences and specific events in time that are often autobiographical and have emotions associated with them.

Due to his acquired brain injury, with damage to his frontal and left temporal lobe, it has been identified that Tom is currently experiencing difficulties with working memory. Difficulties with working memory are often seen as an inability to stay on task and following multi-stepped instructions as it becomes challenging to manipulate information in the brain. In addition to this, Tom is also displaying further memory difficulties with the damage to his left temporal lobe being the most probable cause. The left temporal lobe is believed to play an import role in long-term memory as well as the location of the Wernicke’s area that holds the storage of the semantics of language. This area may have received damage to as Tom is showing difficulty with understanding language, yet another difficulty that will need to be considered throughout his rehabilitation. Specifically the medial temporal lobe, and hippocampal region are known to play a role in the formation of new semantic knowledge. Therefore if Tom received severe damage to

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