I don’t have a great memory. Never have. The worst is retrieving numbers. In the “olden days” when telephones were attached to land lines when you moved you got a new phone number. Every time I moved I immediately forgot my old number and it took months to learn the new one.
That hasn’t changed. What has changed is now not remembering why I just deliberately got up, walked into the bathroom and can’t remember why I’m there.
Now I’m learning that the brain centers largely responsible for remembering are connected to the creativity centers.
Fear and long-term stress
“We have a lot of knowledge about what happens when we are in a constant state of fight-or-flight. And those examples come from syndromes like PTSD, experiencing terrible situations for a long period of time. Here we come to a concept of brain plasticity, which basically means that what you’re experiencing can change your brain. It can make your brain grow so that it’s nice and fluffy and strong or it can shrink it down.”
“PTSD, high stress, can shrink the size of your temporal lobe and increase the size of the amygdala structure that is processing fear information. It also shrinks the size of a key brain area that I’ve studied for the last 25 years called the hippocampus, which is critical for long-term memory.”
“The hippocampus has been more recently implicated in creativity and imagination. Because what imagination is, is taking those things you have in your memory and putting them together in a new way. So just in the way that the hippocampus allows us to think about the past and memory, it also allows us to imagine the future. Long-term stress is literally killing the cells in your hippocampus that contribute to the deterioration of your memory. But it’s also zapping your creativity.”