While we experience emotions and memories as ephemeral and therefore not concrete, the fact is they are processed in a distinct region of the brain named the Limbic System, and they are made up of molecules that interact with nerves.
Memory and memorization is reinforced through repetition, which strengthens the connections into neural pathways. Emotions and sensory components (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) enhance memory; the input of more than one sensory component and/or the stronger the emotion experienced, the greater our ability with be to recall that memory.
The LS could be called the conscience, because it processes the emotional aspects of behavior. In a perfect world, behavior and emotions that accompany it are rational and are in sync with each other, for example, eating when hungry, working for money, and resting in the evening.
When symptoms arise that elude diagnostic testing and are classified “psychosomatic,” medical science has suggested these disorders may originate in the Limbic System. Because the LS influences the nervous and endocrine systems, emotions of stress (fear, anxiety, anger) could affect the delicate balance in those systems and manifest as an identifiable symptom.
On a purely physical level, when we learn and practice a new task, these new neural connections become permanently part of us. First they are stored in the motor cortex region of the brain (receives and sends signals pertaining to voluntary movement), later they dropped down to the basal nuclei (deeper in the brain), and eventually they are stored in the spinal cord once the task no longer requires conscious effort. Neural memory exists in physical space and can be built upon.
This explains how, after a lapse of many years, a skill can be re-learned quickly, based on that stored knowledge. For example, if you took ballet or piano lessons in grade school and decided twenty years later to take classes, the stored memory would help you come up to speed more quickly than if you had to learn from scratch.
Similarly, emotional memory is thought to first to be stored first in a specific area of the LS, the amygdala, and then moved to the pre-frontal cortex. These neural connections have nutrient substances that make them up – proteins and minerals. They exist in physical space as distinct components, like physical memory, perhaps as malleable, to be built upon and changed.
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