Forming and storing a memory is a multistep process that involves
several parts of the brain. A memory is not a single entity, like
a book on a shelf. Instead, memory is the aggregation of multiple
streams of sensory information, filtered through the perception
of the person observing or participating in the event. Each of
the different components of memory is stored and processed in a
different region of the brain.
Because memory storage and retrieval is so complex, even healthy
people can experience memory loss or memory distortion from time
to time. Dr. Daniel Schacter, a professor of psychology at
Harvard University, has identified seven common "sins" of memory.
Some of these memory flaws become more pronounced with age, but —
unless they are extreme and persistent — they are not considered
indicators of Alzheimer's disease or other memory-impairing
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