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The Memory Process Essay

852 words - 3 pages

The process of using memory is as natural as breathing yet there is a great deal of processing that occurs to keep us functioning properly. The journey information takes as it is processed into memories is complex and has many stages. This paper will look at concepts for short-term and long-term memory. The two concepts generally agreed upon as existing are short-term memory and long-term memory. As the names suggest, these stores will contain memories for a short period either of time, or on more of a long-term basis.
Long-term memory is the store of experiences and knowledge we gain through our lives. The store is thought to be unlimited in space and memories stored within it are much more durable than those stored in short term memory. Long-term memory is believed to store remembered information in episodic or semantic memories. Episodic memories would be those in which the individual remembers events. The sights and smells of Christmas, or remembering the events when he or she played a crucial role for a sports team would both be episodic. Semantic memories, on the other hand, would not have as much contextual information involved with them. A person’s memory of multiplication tables or the knowledge needed to drive a car would be semantic memories. By using both types of memory, we can store important moments in our lives in a vivid, way those memories that form our knowledge do not contain too much extraneous information (Terry, 2009).
The short-term memory store is in storage capacity and length of storage. Capable of storing a few characters for roughly fifteen seconds it allows us to investigate information we process and decide on its greater worth. Items like a phone number for a support line we may only need to keep a hold of as long as it takes us to dial the number on the phone whereas a parent’s phone number may be deemed more important and will find its way into the long-term store. Working memory is a concept that divides short-term memory into four components. Two of these components handle different types of sensory input, the third directs attention, and the third connects working memory to the long term store. The phonological loop is a short-term “storage system for acoustic or speech-based information” (Sarkar, 2007, p. 2) and the Visuospacial sketchpad deals with input that we collect visually. Both visual representations of objects, remembering pictures presented and spatial orientation like the location of furniture in a room. These two sections are believed...

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