Contemporary research on learning have shown that memory is part of learning. However, researchers such as Wickens, among others, also agree that some memories at times become innate as observed in basic reflexes and instincts. In essence, learning cannot be apart from memory. In fact, learning process is closely linked to memory such that they adapt to changes throughout an individual’s lifespan. Moreover, according to Wickens, neural processes in humans continue into old age. However, this is only possible when one is actively involved in a thought processes. The need for better understanding of human memory and learning processes has intensified in recent times. This has been aimed at helping in diagnosis and treatment of memory dysfunctions. Moreover, it focuses on aiding storage of information as well as acquisition of new ideas. This paper will explore current literature on the neural processes as well as the neuroanatomy of learning and memory (Wickens 2005).
Neuroanatomical of and Neural Processes related to learning
The brain contains numerous cells that are interconnected in a complex manner for various purposes. For instance, the neuroanatomy that aids learning and memory is quite complex with numerous structures networking its system. Moreover, it contains numerous cells, which perform different functions to aid learning and memory. Both neural and neuroanatomy processes depend on chemical changes for their activity. Moreover, they also depend on the changes in the neuron synapse to achieve learning and memory. The limbic system of the brain contains the hippocampus, which plays an important role in storage of both short and long-term memories.
In addition, the brain has a cerebral cortex, which is tasked with storage of memory. The cerebellum is also tasked with acquiring motor related learning as well as procedural learning. These include driving memories, among others. Moreover, the brain also contains the amygdala, which transfers information to long-term memory from working memory. It is also necessary to not that amygdala encodes emotions into data that can be decoded and stored for execution. The brain also contains basal ganglia, which is tasked with learning, and unconscious memory processes namely implicit memory, among others. Current literature has also shown that basal ganglia have the capability of acquiring problem solving and stimulus response behaviors (Wickens 2005).
Numerous researches have also been conducted on the functions of neuron synapse. For instance, researchers such as Hebb, among others have it that neuron synapse is very essential to learning and memory processes of the brain. Moreover, he argues that learning is important in strengthening of synapses (Hebbian synapse). He also believes that the changes in synapse are responsible for storing and encoding information through learning. Moreover, he also believes that this process, which is also known as long-term potentiation, starts with the release of glutamate, which activates receptors thereby causing a series of neuron changes. Neural process is still under neurological studies given the delicate and complex nature of the structures of the brain. However, more neurological studies are currently undergoing with the aim of unveiling important information of the relation between learning and memory. However, it is agreeable that chemical and electrical changes in neuron synapse are responsible for acquisition and storage memory (Salthouse, 2006, p. 68-87).
Neurological studies have intensified in recent times with that advent of advanced technologies that can reveal structures of the brain. Moreover, new studies have shown that learning is part of memory. This happens because of chemical and electrical changes in the neuron synapse. It is also necessary to not that the brain structure contains numerous cells and complex structure like basal ganglia, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala, among others, that aid in learning and memory storage.
Salthouse, T. A. (2006). Mental Exercise and Mental Aging. Evaluating the Validity of the “Use It or Lose It” Hypothesis. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(1), 68-87.
Wickens, A.P. (2005). Foundations of Biopsychology (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Pearson/Prentice Hall.