The Key Concepts Of Human Memory

The Key Concepts Of Human Memory

There are generally three stages in human memory: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.

Sensory memory notes what you see, hear, feel, taste and smell. Put simply, it records things you “sense.” Sensory memory is quite short-term. If you don’t pass it into short-term memory, it fades away the second the experience is concluded. For instance, think about seeing. We see countless details in the course of most waking minutes. However, unless your interest is actually captured by something you see, it is erased when something else attracts your attention.

Short-term memory is maintained a little longer; as long as you give thought to something, you can keep it in short-term memory. It might be a phone number you have been saying continuously till you can jot it down, or the look of a flower. It will continue to be available in your memory as long as you actively think about it. Should you stop paying attention to it, it will be deleted within 10-20 seconds. In order to recall something after that, the brain has to transfer it to long-term memory. The process of rehearsing a telephone number is actually a way of transferring the number from short-term to long-term memory.

Like sensory memory, the amount of information you are able to keep in short-term memory is quite limited. The normal rule is only five to nine items of data can be in short-term memory at any one time. This is why short-term memory is so “short.” Each time you focus on new information from sensory memory, you have to push out something you noticed previously. For example, if something interrupts your concentration on the telephone number before you rehearse it into long-term memory, it will be shoved out and you will have to look it up again!

Commonly, when we discuss memory, we have long-term memory in mind. Long-term memory can hold a virtually unrestricted amount of information. Long-term memory is made up of perceptions and concepts varying from a few minutes old to the latest days of life. Long-term memory is similar to the enormous hard disk of a giant computer where limitless information can be recorded for a lifetime. It is this memory we base our concepts and experiences on, and hopefully pull it back to awareness if we need it.

If this appears involved – it truly is! Amazingly, our brains nearly always execute it without a hitch. With this backdrop, we will examine a question that occurs to people every so often: What is the distinction between what you know and what you know how to do?

Humans have two types of long-term memory: Declarative and procedural.

“Declarative” memory is the memory of ideas or occasions. “Procedural” memory is remembering ways to do things. The words themselves help us remember which is which; “declarative memory” makes it possible to express something, or “declare,” “procedural memory” helps us do something – to “proceed.”

Procedural memory is very often not easy to discuss, or explain. Nevertheless, even when we cannot say how we do something, we can often apply our memory of it without even consciously thinking about it. Procedural learning and recall are used in things like hammering a nail, learning to recite a poem, learning to play a game, or learning to swim. We can safely drive a car from place to place all day long without thinking about the driving process, most of the time.  As soon as a “procedure” has been rehearsed mentally or practiced physically until it is firmly in long-term memory, it is very long-lasting. For example, people often observe that you can continue to ride a bicycle a long time after the last time you did it!

Now, just one more degree of complication. Declarative memory is of two types: “semantic memory” and “episodic memory.” Semantic memory is theoretical or abstract memory. It is outside of time and place. It is just a bit of information. For example, comprehending an apple is called a “fruit” is a semantic memory. Knowing two plus two equals four is also semantic memory. You can recollect it, say it, you have an understanding of it, and you can employ it to count things. Nevertheless, the memory does not signify anything actual or specific.

Episodic memory, on the other hand, is factual knowledge based on personal experience in a particular moment and spot. It is something that occurred, or a situation you sensed. For example, when you’re thinking about peering over Niagara Falls when you were on vacation, you are retrieving an episodic memory. A different example: You may state, “When we were in the grocery store this morning, David bought two apples and Mary bought two apples, so altogether we came home with four apples.” You’re employing semantic memory to apply an equation to four specific apples you remember seeing, which is an episodic memory, or the memory of an “episode” in your life.

These terms and principles are crucial due to the fact the different types of memory are produced and recorded by the brain in different ways and in diverse brain locations. They are subject to improvement or injury in various ways, as well. For example, not all kinds of memories are influenced by ageing in the same manner. Investigation is beginning to tell us progressively more men and women will live to 100 years of age. This can be good news or bad news, depending on the quality of life you expect, and plan, for during those later years. As you continue to analyse and learn about memory, remember these essential ideas to help you set your new understanding and “memories” into context.