What happens in your brain when you make a memory?

If you learned something while in a swimming pool, you’ll remember it better while in a swimming pool at a later date (they’ve actually shown this). Illustration: Lauren Humphrey We all have memories, as far as I can remember. But where do these memories come from and how do they get made? People often compare the brain to a computer, but the brain doesn’t have USB slots that allow you to pick up new information by jamming a flash drive in your ear. That would be convenient, if a little painful. So where do we get all this information sloshing around in our skulls? You might imagine human memory is a bit like a Santa’s sack filled with life events, song lyrics and the first half of jokes. But in…

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