Our brain gets a signal from the various parts of our body through what are called are sensors. The tips of the sensors are known as synapses. These synapses send millions of electrical impulses through our body. Slowly these become the basis of memory development. In neuro sciences, scientists are busy studying how part of our brains are working. Well some scientists believe that we are utilizing only 10% of our brains. This may or may not be true. But as we grow older, our powers to retain and assimilate and develop memory increase. This is also known as memory development. This is the reason that a 10 year has better memory skills than a toddler.
The brain has billions of neurons and these are connected through a network. Our brain is very active and it derives its stimulation of the billions of signals that are passing through these networks. Memory development or thought processes are not contained in a single neuron, but rather on the network. We use both the left and the right part of our brain for our daily functioning and memory development. Certain work such as logical reasoning, associations, math is done by the left side of the brain. While the right side of the brain gives us our language skills. One without the other would be useless. Everyday, we are been exposed to multitude of stimulants, that we absorb, retain and form a part of our memories. Thus constantly making our brains undergo the process of memory development.
Some people seem to have photographic memory. They seem to have a huge cache of memory capacity. The ability to look and quickly grasp and retain in memory is truly amazing. These extraordinary people are rare and few between. Scientists who have studied these individuals have found that they have undergone the process of memory development using some strategies. These memory development strategies can vary from individual to another individual. All individuals are born with different memory capacity storage. However studies and research has shown that all individuals can benefit from taking the right kind of training to enhance the memory capacity prowess. This means that our memory development, retention and retrieval become more efficient. Isn't this what every person wants. Memory development Strategies to make the memory more efficient can differ from person to person.
As we grow older, we become "forgetful". The reason has been that we have not used our knowledge for a long time. Scientists studying nueropsychology are just beginning to understand the various workings of the grey matter. The retrieval time takes longer. This certainly doesn't mean that our memory storage capacity has been lost. In our twenties, information is been used more frequently therefore the bouts of forgetfulness are far less. These are also known as "memory blocks". At a younger age our memory development is faster since we are utilizing our brains more.
As we get older, the episodes of "memory blocks" get increased as we age. But the process of memory development is till going on in our brains. Some people think that frequent episodes of memory block may lead to Alzheimer's disease. This is certainly not the case. Research has however found that those individuals (above 50 years) of age who participate in some sort of mental activity such as doing crosswords, solving word puzzles, solving sudoku and other such games of logical reasoning remain sharper than those individuals who don't.
Over a lifetime, an individual will have varied memories and the memory development can happen various speeds too. These are stored somewhere in the brain. If the brain is physically damaged, then many memories may simply be destroyed. Else the memory will be stored in some corner. If the memories have not been used for a considerable amount of time, then it might take a long time to retrieve that information. When memory is backed up on what is known as "long term memory" it has to pass through "working memory".
If the memory has not been encoded properly during the "working memory" phase, then that information may get lost. This is a part and parcel of memory development sometimes we get a vague feeling, that we may have experienced this before. This vague feeling comes from information been there but not encoded properly, thus it can't be retrieved when it's required.
It's never too old to learn. Our brain is a working horse which is going through the process of memory development with each stimulation that we receive. It's a fact that memory prowess begins to decline after a person hits their mid forties, but scientists have yet to truly understand the effects of age on memory. This is as complex as talking about memory itself. For this reason, some tasks may be better suited to a twenty year old and some tasks may be better performed by a sixty year old.
Given the same training, both can match each other in their wits and memory skills. No wonder you have the saying "Cunning Old Man".