A Broad Analysis of Memory

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Have you ever wondered what allows us to be aware of the present? It is actually the past! Without knowledge of past information, we would be constantly confused during the present and incapable of almost everything. Hockenbury & Hockenbury (2012) describes memory to be, “…the mental processes that enable us to acquire, retain, and retrieve information”. Without the presence of either of these three processes, the other two would be obsolete. Many experiments have been conducted to better understand these processes and break them down into their basic components. Modal Model of Memory The modal model of memory is one of the most basic models that describes memory today. It involves the three stages named sensory memory, short-term memory, and Long-term memory and how each stage transfers information from one to another (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2012). Healy and McNamara (1996) explained how the original modal model of memory, developed in 1890, consisted of only the primary and secondary memory. The primary memory was defined as, “…that which is held momentarily in consciousness…” and the secondary memory was defined to be, “…unconscious but permanent [memory].” As time progressed, the primary memory was then referred to as “short-term memory” while the secondary memory started to be called “Long-term memory”. In 1968, Atkinson and Shiffrin added what is now called “sensory memory” to the list, which consists of sensory registers for sight, sound and even touch. This new modal model of memory that is currently used also explains the transitions between short and Long-term memory. Healy and Mc Namara (1996) explain how the Atkinson & Shiffrin model involves the transfer of information from short-term memory to Long-term memory... ... middle of paper ... ...e. doi:10.1038/nn.3623, 201-203. Hockenbury, D. H., & Hockenbury, S.E. (2012). Discovering Psychology (6th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers. Lu, Z.-L., Williamson, S.J., & Kaufman L. (1992, Dec 4). Behavioral lifetime of human auditory sensory memory predicted by physiological measures. Science, 258, 1668-1670. McNamara, D. S., & Healy, A. F. (1996). Verbal learning and memory: does the modal model still work? Annual Review of Psychology, 47, 143-145. Okami, P. (2013). Psychology: Contemporary Perspectives. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Preston, A. (2007, Sep 26). How does short-term memory work in relation to long-term memory? Are short-term daily memories somehow transferred to long-term storage while we sleep? Scientific American. Schachter, D. (2001, May 1). The seven sins of memory. Psychology Today.
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