I'm aware that muscle memory, language etc can remain largely intact after brain injury that impairs other forms of memory, suggesting that different kinds of memory are stored in different places in the brain.

Are your personality traits also stored separate from memory?

  • If I'm a bigot, I probably came to be that way because of my experiences and what people who are influential in my life have told me. If I forget those experiences and people due to memory loss following brain injury, will I not be a bigot anymore?
  • I may have certain nuances in my personality because I'm rich - like body language, or that public transport makes me uncomfortable, never having been used to it. If my memory loss is so severe that I don't recall anything about my life so far, will I still have my nuances?
  • $\begingroup$ You're talking about several different things, not just information and personality traits. $\endgroup$ Oct 24, 2017 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse Being a bigot, disliking public transport, body language.. they're all personality traits, surely? Is it the "information" part which is not properly worded or termed? How can I improve the title or description? $\endgroup$
    – insanity
    Oct 24, 2017 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ The only way I can make sense of your question is if you are asking whether personality traits are innate or not. Is that what you are asking? $\endgroup$
    – vkehayas
    Oct 24, 2017 at 13:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @vkehayas No, I'm pretty sure they're acquired. Based on "information". But is that information stored in a different part of the brain than the personality it creates? If so, does its loss change the personality? (Usage of the term "information" depends on further comments from anongoodnurse, who seems to feel it's not really what I'm asking about) $\endgroup$
    – insanity
    Oct 24, 2017 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


I think your confusion comes from the fact that you take traits and memory to be distinct from each other. The brain processes information and we know that some of the connections between its cells are altered in the process --some call that memory. You are convinced that this is the only way that traits form, through experience at some developmental stage. You are then asking if cells in areas other than those that change during the formation of traits are affected more by the experience of forming a trait. If that were true, they would by definition be included in the areas that are associated with the trait in the first place. Can you see the problem in the logic of the argument?

Many people have followed similarly flawed reasoning, including trained neuroscientists that have been indoctrinated to believe in extreme forms of functional specialization of the brain, a more subtle version of the now debunked theory of phrenology.

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