Types of Memory
“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things are you, and the things you never want to lose” – Kevin Arnold. Memories are the most puzzling part of the brain. Yet, it’s what makes us who we are, recognizes family and friends, and is essentially the most important cognitive process. Memory, the process of storing and retrieving information in the brain, consists of three main types that all have their own particular mode of operation; sensory, short-term, and long-term. But to understand each type and the function it serves we must look deeper into these categories.
A memory that lasts less than one second? Is that even heard of? Sensory memory is the shortest element of memory. It is the “ultra-short term memory” that typically lasts 1/5-1/2 of a second after the perception of something (Mastin). Sensory memory retains information after the original stimuli have ended. “It acts as a kind of buffer for stimuli received through the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch”. The sensory memory for visual stimuli is sometimes known as the iconic memory, the memory for hearing stimuli is known as the echoic memory, and that for touch as the haptic memory. An example for sensory memory is looking at a poster walking through the campus you have the ability to remember what it looked like even if you only observed it for a second. The brain is wired to only process information that can be used later on and unlike other types of memory, sensory memory cannot be remember for a long time by repetition (Mastin). Sensory memory is an important step for storing information in our short-term memory. Information is passed from the sensory memory into short-term memory by the process of attent...
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...Mastin). It refers to general factual knowledge about the world, information that was shared with, and independent experiences that were acquired. Implicit memory, also known as procedural memory, is described as the “knowing how” memory. These are the memories that you do without thinking like driving a car or riding a bike, once you learn, you remember how, but now you do with without thought.
Memory work interchanging, without one form of memory the other wouldn’t work. The 4 different types of memory all work together to store the most important information in our long-term memory. Memory impacts our daily living in more ways than we can think of, it’s important that we exercise our memory by reading, complex thinking, puzzles, etc. Keeping the body healthy by eating right, and getting enough sleep are also tools to help retain information in our memory bank.
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