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We hold on to different kinds of memories.
By studying people with amnesia, it seems that short-term and long-term memories don't form in precisely the same way, nor do declarative and procedural memories.
Memories are held within groups of neurons called cell assemblies. They fire as a group in response to a specific stimulus, such as recognising your friend's face.
The more neurons fire together, the more the interconnection of the cells strengthen. We experience the nerves' collective activity as a memory.
For a short-term memory to become a long-term memory, it must be strengthened for long-term storage. The process is called memory consolidation and occurs using several processes.
Long-term potentiation consists of individual nerves changing themselves to grow and talk to their neighboring nerves differently. The remodeling modifies the nerve's connections, which makes the memory stable.
When we recall a memory, many parts of the brain share information, including regions that do high-level information processing, regions that deal with our senses' new inputs, and the region that help coordinate the process, the medial temporal lobe.
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