In the 1450s, a German goldsmith named Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, which revolutionized the world of publishing (The Printing Press, 2005). Since then, hundreds of word processing programs have been developed, along with thousands of new fonts, from Times New Roman to Comic Sans. Marketing professionals and scientists around the world have wondered what kinds of fonts stick in a person’s memory over others (Dizikes, 2013). The concepts of how memory functions, how the brain processes information and how font and memory are connected in psychology are essential to better understand this idea.
The nervous system consists of three main sections, the central nervous system (CNS), the peripheral nervous system (PNS), and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord, the peripheral nervous system includes the nerves leading out from the CNS, and the autonomic nervous system is the part of the PNS that controls involuntary nerve actions (Parker, 2003, p.5). The brain itself is separated into about five areas: the cerebrum, cerebral cortex, cerebellum, medulla, and areas that control motor skills. The area that controls memory is the cerebral cortex (Function of the brain and its regions, 2006). It is separated into four lobes: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe, and occipital lobe (Parker, 2003, pp. 30-31). The temporal lobe handles the perception of sound and smell, as well as memory, emotion and language. In the inner part of the temporal lobe, a curved structure called the hippocampus is essential to memory formation (The Human Brain, 2006).
Committing information to memory requires a coordinated neural effort of the neurons in the hippocampus and rhinal cortex (Bower, 2001). Messages travel between neurons through an electrical pulse that travels from the first neuron to the next in order to transfer information (Fields, 2005).
There are three basic types of memory: long-term memory, short term memory, and memories of frightening or significant events, known as flashbulb memories. The short term memories are stored in the hippocampus, the long-term are stored in the cerebral cortex, and the flashbulb memories are stored in a special part of the cerebral cortex called the amygdala (Young 2010; Hamzelou, 2011). Short-term memory can hold seven items of information for fifteen to twenty seconds. Information that was received verbally and information that was received visually are kept in different places in short-term memory. To make the most of the limits of short-term memory, the brain chunks two to three facts into one unit of information. Long-term memory, however, is stored by significance and meaning rather than the sequence in which they were received. The two kinds of long-term memory are implicit and explicit memories. Implicit memories are unconsciously remembered, like how to open doors. Explicit memories are consciously remembered. There are three...