The information we remember may be of many different types. On one side, we remember what we ate yesterday for dinner, the fun we had last weekend at a live gig, or how we struggled to pass the last exam. However, we also remember facts we have studied or learned unintentionally, like the multiplication tables or our best friend's email address. The first type of memory relates to episodes in our past life; thus, we talk about episodic memory. The second type, related to facts and meanings, is what we call semantic memory.
But memory is much more than this. We not only remember the multiplication tables; we can also use them to work out how much wages we are due at the end of a week. That is, we know how to do things; multiplying, riding a bicycle, or playing the piano are all different examples of procedural memory.
Memory today and in the future!
There are many ways in which memory has been addressed throughout the history of psychology. Some researchers have created computer-like models to understand the functioning of memory, even simulating it with very powerful computers. Some others have studied and compared human memory to other species, like certain birds, rats, chimpanzees, or dolphins. There is huge research into how different forms of learning (e.g. visual or auditory) affect memory. Finally, there is an impressive body of research into how brain injuries affect memory and remembrance.
However, there are still many enigmas left. Psychologists and neuroscientists around the world are struggling with the mysteries of memory, but with developing technologies we can take one step further and try to understand how memory works from neuropsychology perspective. In recent years the incorporation of new research methods (e.g. optogenetics) with the study of memory has resulted in a tremendous leap in this field, initiating a revolution in our understanding of the networks underlying cognitive processes.