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7.4.4. Classification: Long-term Memory


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 7. How The Brain Works > 7.4. Classification: Making Sense of the World > 7.4.4. Classification: Long-term Memory

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By the time things get put into long-term memory, they have often received a significant amount of processing to extract patterns and create meaning. A key type of long-term memory is thus sometimes called semantic memory to reflect the fact that it contains our interpretation of the real world, not what is really there. We also have procedural memory for ‘how to’ skills, fear memory for phobias (stored in the amygdala) and episodic memory of the films of direct experience.

It is worth keeping this in mind when we recall things from memory, that the chunks we recall are not necessarily what is true, even though we treat them as being complete and absolutely correct.

An effective long-term memory for creativity is one from which we can recall thoughts with reasonable ease. By learning to remember well we can build a greater resource which we can use to stimulate new thought, although a too-tidy mind can be detrimental when it will not entertain thoughts that do not fit into its pre-defined classification system.


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