The functions of learning and memory play a vital role in the lifelong development of each individual. The basic characteristics and purposes of each of these abilities are closely interrelated and often go hand in hand. Learning allows individuals to attain new information while memory enables the storage and retrieval of this information. Neuroanatomy and neural processes play a prominent role in an individual's ability to learn and store memories properly. Learning and memory can affect all aspects of life and as individuals age the functioning of learning and memory can alter.
Learning and memory share a relationship in which they depend on one another; it is impossible to have one without the other. Without proper memory function it would not be possible to learn because one would be unable to retain any new information presented. What humans learn is stored in their memory and learning how to memorize information can range from something as simple as getting dressed or cooking to information that is learned in school and used in the future to be successful. Without memory people would be helpless to remember their own names, where they live, speaking, writing, eating, everything that is needed to live and survive, everything that is learned would be lost. The ability to learn starts from the day of birth and the memory begins to store the vital information that is needed to progress in life, to survive, to be successful, to be educated, or even to communicate. .
The contemporary, computational approach distinguishes several types of memory: sensory memory, short-term memory (STM), and long-term memory (LTM). Information from the world enters a person's senses and is briefly retained in sensory memory. If that information is worth attending to, the brain will code and process it through short-term memory. Over time, with sufficient short-term processing, it may be stored in long-term memory.