No matter what we are doing in life we are constantly needing to remember information, whether it is remembering how to get back home from a night out or remembering to call someone back, remebering is an important aspect of every day life. However, many different things can affect the amount a person can remember. A persons age can affect memory, stress levels and drug abuse.
Age. So we can all think of a time when an ‘older’ person has forgotton something, for example, where they left the television remote, this is because as we get older recall decreases (Hill et al, 2006). These proceeses start in our 20s and gets worse as we get into our 50s and older. This is because the synapses start to break down and we stop making these connections as easily. One theory of why this happens when we get older is the decrease of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, this neurotransmitter helps with the learning of new information and decreased levels have been seen to prevent the recall of previously learned information (Hasselmo & Bower, 1993).
Stress. When I first enter an exam and look through the paper I often think I know the answers but I just cannot recall them, this happens until I calm down and think, the stress I feel just before an exam hinders my abililty to recall the information, and even hours after the exam I am still remembering things that I could not in an exam. Although most of the research into this area focuses on eye witnesses recall, research finds that hugh stress levels lead to a decraese in the recall of information (Kramer et al, 1992).
Drug abuse. Drug abuse, in particlaur, marijuana abuse has been reported to affect the thinking and the organisation of thoughts of those taking the drug. This is particularly worrying as it is becoming a more popular drug among teens, and these are the years for optimum learning, however, Block et al. (1992) found that marijuana does not cause long term damange to cognitive functioning, it only impairs it when the person is intoxicated. However, Seal et al (2012) found that when the drug was used heavily and frequently (over 15 years) it affects the brains ability to learn and remember, this is worse the younger the abuse starts.