The aim of this essay is to attempt to understand and distinguish the processes of memory and how the process of memory can effect a person as they get older. Studies and criticism make this clear to an extent. Memory can have dramatic effects on a person as they get older. But these effects may vary from person to person depending on different variables. There are ways of treating these effects so a person maybe able to remember better but these can or may have certain side effects. This essay concluded that when a person gets older, there age can have an undesirable effect on there memory.
Memory is something that helps everyone in some way or another through day to day living. Memory helps us to remember the past whether it is painful or happy. Memory can have such an effect on a person that it is something not to underestimate. It can have dramatic effects on a person if it recalls certain situations from the past that may have effected a person in a life changing situation or something that may have had a certain effect a person. This essay will explore the benefits and problems with the process of memory and how memory effects a person as they get older. By exploring various studies and criticisms from various critics this essay will outline the pros and cons of memory and the effects of memory in relevance to when a person ages. But as the following are investigated this essay will also look at how a person is effected growing up in different circumstances. Also in turn by looking at the studies carried out it will give an insight in the behavioural effects emotionally, socially and motivationally.
Memory is used pretty much everyday in our lives. But the process of how memory works as you get older is something different all together. The human brain relies on a certain process of memory for us to rely on using it. The three main processes that a human brain uses are encoding, storage and retrieval. Encoding is the start of how our brain processes something to make it into a certain memory that the brain may wish to remember. Encoding is where the brain takes certain information that it wishes to store but it has to be stored in such a way that it can be remembered and retrieved at a later stage. For example like remembering a certain maths equation (Weiten, 2004, pp 262).
The brain will try to encode every part of that equation until it feels that it can commence storing it into the brain. Once the process of encoding the information into the brain has been completed. The brain will then commence to store information whilst trying to maintain the information in its encoded form. The reason it stores it in an encoded form is because there are a million things that your brain stores everyday.
So to store everything they all have to be encoded in different ways so there is no mix up. The third and last step of the process of memory is the retrieval of the encoded information that had been stored in our brain. The retrieval involves the recovery of the certain encoded information that was stored and then once recovered it is then retrieved and used in whatever manner, that the brain sees fit (Weiten, 2004, pp 262).
Bear in mind the process of memory from start to finish is encoding, storage and retrieval. From the start when information is encoded, that information is not an exact copy from when you first start to encode it. The brain will only try to store certain information that it feels is relevant to the situation. This would also be the case when retrieving certain information from storage out of our brain. The information will probably be the same as you first encoded but it may vary slightly if that information is not used after a certain time since you stored it.
These are really the main processes of how memory works. But these processes may change as you get older. Due to the fact that physical and mental health issues may cause the brain to work slower or to a point where it still functions like it use to but it has to work harder to do so. The reasons for this are detailed much more as this essay progresses. But certain physical factors contribute to the well being of the human brain, such as the amount of blood and oxygen being supplied to the brain to function properly. Certain protein and sugar levels and the physical well being of the person are all considerable sized factors in the process of memory as a person gets older. If a person keeps in good health and takes the right precautions as they get older then there is no reason for a person who is older to be functioning just as well as they were ten years ago (Haberlandt, 1998, pp 204-205).
Memory is something that everyone develops from when they are a baby. It helps us in our day to day living and with all types of situations. But according to studies carried out memory does have its flaws. One of the major flaws is that when you get older your memory may start to deteriorate. Though this may be something that happens with most people aging, its not absolutely conclusive because in certain circumstances some people who are old do not lose there memory as much as others who are of the same age. As you may have read early on in this essay.
There are many reasons for why a person who is older may perform poorer then a person who is younger in the memory department. But the main reasons for the loss of memory are really physical health issues as it was briefly detailed earlier on in this essay. The decline in memory loss is contributed by several factors such as neurological and physiological that contributes to the aging of the brain (Craik, 1998, pp 274).
As a person gets older there brain mass can decrease up to 10% therefore less of the brain is functioning. Also add to this the loss of blood flow; oxygen flow and protein flow to the brain, makes it even harder for the brain to be performing at full capacity. Take all these factors into account and depending on how healthy a person is as they get older it would be most likely that you would decrease in memory.
In conclusion it could be said that memory is something that every human being uses during the whole period of there life. But with substantial evidence it was proven that majority of people as they get older start to loose there memory slowly. The cause of this was mainly due to health concerns with blood, oxygen and protein flow going to the brain. But also as you got older your brain mass would decrease by 10% which would inturn make your brain to function less. So it was found that the process of memory has a very strong chance of being poorer as you get older.