Tag: short-term memory


Classification of Memory

Classification of Memory

Classification of Memory

Memory

Memory is the mental function that enables you to acquire, retain, and recall sensations, impressions, information, and thoughts you have experienced.

There are several different types, stages, classifications, and functions of memory. Most people think of memory as either short-term or long-term. However, memory can be divided into many more types or categories. We categorize short-term and long-term as stages of memory than types of memory. Types of memory are mostly subsets of long-term memory.

 

 

Three Stages of Memory

There are three memory stages: sensory, short-term, and long-term. Information processing begins in sensory memory, moves to short-term memory, and eventually moves into long-term memory.

Stages of memory

Information that you come across on a daily basis may move through the three stages of memory. However, not all information makes its way through all three stages. Most of it is forgotten somewhere along the way. The determination of what information makes its way through the different stages depends on what you pay attention to and process. Information that you pay attention to and process will move to the next stage of memory. However, any information you to do not pay attention to never makes it way to the next stage.

 

 

Sensory Memory

Sensory Memory processes information from the environment and holds it for a very brief period of time, generally for no longer than a second. Sensory memory retains impressions of sensory information after the original stimulus has stopped. Most of the information that gets into sensory memory is forgotten, but information that we pay attention to passes into short-term memory.

Types of Sensory Memory

  1. Iconic memory is the visual sensory memory that holds the mental representation of your visual stimuli.
  2. Echoic memory is the auditory sensory memory that hold information that you hear.
  3. Haptic memory is the tactile sensory memory that holds information from your sense of feeling.

 

 

Short-term memory

Short-term memory is also known as working or active memory. It is the information we are currently thinking about. Information in short-term memory is not stored permanently. Most of the information stored in short-term memory will only be kept for approximately 20 to 45 seconds. While many of our short-term memories are quickly forgotten, paying attention to the information and processing it allows it to continue into long-term memory.

Short term memory not only has a limited time, it also has a limited capacity. It believed to only hold a few items. Research shows the number is around 7 +/- 2 items.

 

 

Long-term Memory

Long-term memory refers to the storage of information over an extended period. It is all the memories we hold for periods longer than a few seconds. The information can last in our long-term memory for hours, days, months, or years. Although we may forget at least some information after we learn it, other things will stay with us forever.

Unlike short-term memory, the capacity of long-term memory is seemingly unlimited.

 

 

Types of Long-term Memory

There are several different types and categories that people use to describe long-term memory. Below is a list of some of those;

  • Implicit and Explicit memory
  • Declarative and Non-declarative memory (Procedural)
  • Semantic and Episodic memory

 

 

Two Main Types of Memory

There are main two types of long-term memory:

  1. Explicit memory (Conscious)
  2. Implicit memory – (non-Conscious)

 

Explicit and implicit memory

 

Explicit memory

Explicit memory are those experiences and information that you have to consciously think about to remember. When you are trying to intentionally remember something such as the name of someone you met or a list of items to pick up at the store, this information is stored in your explicit memory. It is termed explicit memory because you can name and describe each of these remembered things explicitly. It would include consciously remembered knowledge or experiences such as information, episodes or events.

This type of memory is also known as declarative memory, since you can consciously recall and explain the information.

 

 

Implicit memory

Implicit memory refers to knowledge you remember unconsciously and effortlessly. It is remembering without awareness. You use implicit memory when your previous experiences aid the performance of a task without conscious awareness of these previous experiences. For example, you would use your implicit memory to ride a bike or drive a car because you can do so without having to consciously think about it.

 

 

Declarative vs. Non-declarative

Instead of implicit and explicit, some people use the terms declarative and non-declarative (or procedural) to differentiate the two main types of long-term memory.

 

Declarative Memory

Declarative memory is another term for explicit memory. Explicit or declarative memory requires conscious recall. It consists of information that is consciously stored and retrieved.

 

Non-declarative memory

Non-declarative memory is another term for implicit memory, because it is expressed by means other than words or you are not able to consciously bring it into awareness. For example, when you ride a bike, you are expressing memories of motor skills that do not require the use of language.

 

Explicit = Declarative

Implicit = Non-declarative

 

Declarative and non-declarative

 

 

Types of Explicit Memory

Explicit memory can be divided into two categories;

  1. Episodic
  2. Semantic

 

 

Episodic and Semantic Memory

Explicit memory or declarative memory can be further subdivided into semantic memory and episodic memory.

Episodic memory is the ability to remember episodes of your life. It refers to the firsthand experiences that you have experienced in your life. For example, if you were ask to tell someone what you did last Saturday, you would need to mentally travel through the day in your mind and state the events of your day.

Semantic memory stores your knowledge of facts, concepts, names, and other general knowledge information about the world. (i.e. the names of the football players on a team, definition of the word “abstract”). If you were given the task to list the ingredients in cheese cake, you would not need to “time travel” in your mind. You may simply recall the data.

 

Semantic memory – Facts, data, general information, or knowledge

Episodic memory – personally experienced events (life experiences)

 

 

 

Types of Implicit Memory

Implicit memory involves recollection things that you do not purposely trying to remember. It is both unconscious and unintentional.

The three types of implicit memory are procedural memory, classical conditioning, and priming.

 

Procedural memory

Procedural memory is implicit memory for skills and motor movements. It involves those skills and tasks you learn and perform without conscious awareness. Procedural memory enables you to perform many everyday physical activities without having to give it any thought. Examples of procedural memory include walking, riding a bike, tying shoes, making a sandwich, and reading.

 

 

Classical conditioning

Classical conditioning refers to the unconscious awareness of an association of one stimulus with another stimulus. The memory for the association is demonstrated when the conditioned stimulus begins to create the same response as the unconditioned stimulus did before the learning. For example, if you hear a dinner bell ring, it may create a naturally occurring response such as excitement or salivation. Another example is if you heard there was going to be a test, you begin to get tense and nervous.

 

 

Priming

Priming is an effect in which exposure to one stimulus influences the response to another stimulus due to prior experience. Basically, priming influences your flow of thoughts. It is a non-conscious effect that activates particular concepts or associations in memory. The theory is that when you are exposed to something enough it will rises from your subconscious to the surface of your consciousness.

For example, if ask to state an animal that begins with the letter “D”, most people would choose “dog” because it probably the most popular. However, some people may choose “deer” because of particular connection. You can often predict how a person will respond based on the priming stimulus. What do you think most people would pick for a tool beginning with the letter “H”…Hammer?

Since it occurs outside of your conscious awareness, it is your implicit memory. Often, you do not consciously recall seeing the priming stimulus that affect your action.

 

Implicit and Explicit Memory

 Related Links

Memory

Classification of Memory

Memory Process

Stages of Memory

Types of Memory

Memory Techniques

Causes of Forgetting

Encoding Information into Memory

Paying Attention and Memory

Types of Attention

 

 

 

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Stages of Memory

Stages of Memory

 

Memory is the mental function that enables you to acquire, retain, and recall sensations, impressions, information, and thoughts you have experienced.

To help understand memory as a whole, you can think of memory in terms of stages. The different stages describe the length of time that information remains available to you.

The three stages of memory are:

  • Sensory memory
  • Short-term memory
  • Long-term memory

 

 

 

Overview – Three Stages of Memory

There are three memory stages: sensory, short-term, and long-term. Information processing begins in sensory memory, moves to short-term memory, and eventually moves into long-term memory.

Information that you come across on a daily basis may move through the three stages of memory. However, not all information makes its way through all three stages. Most of it is forgotten somewhere along the way. The determination of what information makes its way through the different stages depends on what you pay attention to and process. Information that you pay attention to and process will move to the next stage of memory. However, any information you to do not pay attention to never makes it way to the next stage.

 

Memory flow

 

 

Stages of Memory

Sensory memory – Processes information gathered through your five senses. It holds information for an extremely brief period of time (less than a second) after the original stimulus has stopped.

Short-term memory – holds information you are actively thinking about. It lasts for a very brief time (less than a minute) and can only hold 7 +/- 2 pieces of information at once.

Long-term memory – holds information for long periods even permanently. It seemingly can hold an unlimited amount of information.

 

 

Sensory Memory

Sensory memory is the first stage of memory. Its purpose is to give your brain time to process the incoming information.

Sensory memory is not consciously controlled. You subconsciously and continuously gather information from the environment through your five senses. Sensory memory holds impressions of that sensory information that was received by your five senses after the original stimulus has stopped. However, it only holds it for a very brief period, generally for no longer than a second. In order for that information to be retained for longer, it has to continue onto short-term memory.

Most of the information that gets into sensory memory is forgotten. It never makes its way into the second stage of memory because it was never attended to. To get information into short-term memory, you need to attend to it – meaning consciously paying attention to it.

Sensory memory can be observed if you look at an object then close your eyes. As your eyes close, you can notice how the visual image is maintained for a fraction of a second before fading. It is your sensory memory that is holding that image.

Sensory memory also explains why the old 16mm movies shot with 16 separate frames per second appears as continuous movement rather than a series of single still pictures.   A visual trace is retained in sensory memory for about a split second. But it holds it long enough to keep the image in your mind until the next still image replaces it.

16 mm film

Basically, sensory memory allows you to see the world as an unbroken chain of events, rather than as individual pieces. This is an example of iconic memory, which is your visual sensory memory.

There are two other types of sensory memory; echoic memory (the auditory sensory) and haptic memory (the tactile sensory).

 

Types of Sensory memory

Iconic memory is the visual sensory memory that holds the mental representation of your visual stimuli.

Echoic memory is the auditory sensory memory that hold information that you hear.

Haptic memory is the tactile sensory memory that holds information from your sense of feeling.

 

 

Short-term Memory

Short-term Memory Short-term memory (STM) is also known as working or active memory. It holds the information you are currently thinking about. This information will quickly be forgotten unless you make a conscious effort to retain it.

Like sensory memory, short-term memory holds information temporarily, pending further processing. However, unlike sensory memory which holds the complete image received by your senses, short-term memory only stores your interpretation of the image.

 

Temporary Storage

As indicated above, information in short-term memory is not stored permanently. Information passes from sensory memory into short-term memory, where again it is held for only a short period of time. Most of the information stored in short-term memory will only be kept for approximately 20 to 45 seconds. While many of your short-term memories are quickly forgotten, paying attention to the information and processing (encoding) it allows it to continue into long-term memory. Just as sensory memory is a necessary step for short-term memory, short-term memory is a necessary step toward the next stage of retention, long-term memory.

Processing or encoding includes making judgments and assessments about meaning, relevance, and significance of that information. It also includes the mental activities needed to move selected portions of the information into long-term memory. If encoding never happens, the information never gets into long-term memory.

The reason a person forgets the name of someone to whom he or she has just been introduced to is because the name often was never encoded and transferred from short-term to long-term memory.

 

Limited capacity

Short-term memory not only has a limited time, it also has a limited capacity. It is believed to only hold a few items. Research shows the number is around 7 +/- 2 items. For example, if a person is asked to listen to a series of 20 names, he or she normally retains only about seven names. Typically, it is either the first few or last few. The reason is because if you focuses on the first few items, your STM becomes saturated, and you cannot concentrate on and recall the last series of items. People are able to retain more information using memory techniques such as chunking or rehearsal.

 

 

Long-term Memory

Long-Term Memory Long-term memory (LTM) refers to the storage of information over an extended period. It is all the memories you hold for periods longer than a few seconds. The information can last in your long-term memory for hours, days, months, or even years. Although you may forget some information after you learn it, other things will stay with you forever.

Some information retained in STM is processed or encoded into long-term memory. This information is filed away in your mind and must be retrieved before it can be used. Some of the information in your LTM is easy to recall, while other memories are much more difficult to retrieve.

Unlike short-term memory, long-term memory has seemingly unlimited capacity. You may remember numerous facts and figures, as well as episodes in your life from years ago.

 

 

Types of long-term memory

There are main two types of long term memory; explicit memory and implicit memory.

 

Explicit memory

Explicit memory are those experiences that can be intentionally and consciously remembered. It is knowledge or experiences that can be consciously remembered such as facts, data, episodes, or events. Explicit memory can be further sub-categorized as either episodic or semantic memories.

Episodic memory refers to the firsthand experiences that you have had (e.g. episodes or events in your life). For example, you may remember your 16th birthday party or your first soccer game.

Semantic memory refers to knowledge of facts and concepts about the world. For example, you may remember the names of presidents or how to multiple two numbers.

 

 

Implicit memory

Implicit memory refers to knowledge that we cannot consciously access. It is remembering without awareness. For example, you may remember how to ride a bike or walk, but it is difficult to explain how you do it.

 

Related Links

Memory

Classification of Memory

Memory Process

Stages of Memory

Types of Memory

Memory Techniques

Causes of Forgetting

Encoding Information into Memory

Paying Attention and Memory

Types of Attention

 

 

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Types of Memory

Types of Memory

Memory is the mental function that enables you to acquire, retain, and recall sensations, impressions, information, and thoughts you have experienced.

types of memory

 

Types of Memory

There are three basic categories for Types of Memory:

Sensory Memory Holds information coming in through the senses for a period ranging from a fraction of a second to several seconds

Short-Term

Memory (STM)

Holds information we are actively thinking about for about seven items for no more than 20 or 30 seconds at a time without rehearsal.
Long-Term Memory (LTM) Holds information for a long period of time (almost permanently) with a virtually unlimited capacity

 

Stages of memory

However, there are several additional types of memory.

  1. Implicit vs. explicit memory
  2. Declarative vs. non-declarative memory
  3. Declarative vs. procedural memory
  4. Semantic vs. episodic memory

 

 

Types of Short-Term Memory

Short-term memory is the information we are currently aware of or thinking about.  It is the information that is held in our mind for a very short period of time before it is either dismissed or transferred to long-term memory.  Working memory can be thought of a distinct segment of short term memory.

Working memory – is a subpart of short-term memory applied to cognitive tasks that temporarily stores, organizes and manipulates information.

 

 

 

Types of Long-Term Memory

Long-term memory is our brain’s system for storing, managing, and retrieving information.  We store different types of information (procedures, personal experiences, facts, language, etc.) in our long term memory.  There are three main distinctions among different types of memory:

  1. Implicit vs. Explicit memory
  2. Declarative vs. Procedural memory
  3. Semantic vs. Episodic memory

 

 

 

 

 Types of MemoryMemory

 

Implicit vs. Explicit Memory

Implicit memory is information that is remembered unconsciously and effortlessly.   Information unconsciously enters the memory to affects thoughts and behavior, thus allowing someone to do things by rote.  It is where previous experiences aid in the performance of a task without conscious awareness of these previous experiences.

Example: If you visited your aunt’s house when you were eight years old, then 20 years later you remember exactly how to get to the kitchen.

 

Explicit memory is conscious, intentional remembering of information.  Basically, it is information that you have to consciously work to remember.

Example:  Remembering a phone number or an address.

 

Explicit and implicit memory

 

 

Declarative vs. Procedural Memory

Declarative memory is recall of factual information such as dates, words, faces, events, and concepts.

Example: Remembering the capital of Connecticut, the rules for playing football, and what happened in the last game of the World Series involves declarative memory.

NOTE:  Declarative memory is usually considered to be explicit because it involves conscious, intentional remembering.

 

Procedural memory is recall of how to perform an action, task, or skill.

Example:  changing a light bulb or riding a bike

NOTE:  Procedural memory is usually considered implicit because people do not have to consciously remember how to perform actions or skills.

 

 

Semantic vs. Episodic Memory

Declarative memory can be segmented into two types: semantic and episodic

Semantic memory is recall of general facts.

Example: Remembering the capital of New Jersey and the batting average for Jackie Robinson.

 

Episodic memory is recall of personal experiences.

Example: Remembering what happened in the happened during a birthday party or baseball game.

 

 

 

Related Links

Memory

Classification of Memory

Memory Process

Stages of Memory

Memory Techniques

Causes of Forgetting

Encoding Information into Memory

Types of Attention

Memorization vs understanding

The Learning Pyramid

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Maslow’s pyramid

 

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Memory

MemoryM

 Human Memory

Human Memory is the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain and later retrieve information.  It involves three domains: encoding, storage, and retrieval.

 

Encoding is the process of getting information into memory. If information or stimuli never gets encoded, it will never be remembered.  Encoding requires linking new information to existing knowledge in order to make the new information more meaningful.  The quality of remembering or retrieving information later is directly linked to the degree with which new information can be connected or assimilated with existing knowledge.  Selective attention explains why we may encode some stimuli and not others.  Encoding is also affected by divided attention, which occurs when a person is paying attention to more than one thing at the same time.

 

Storage consists of retention of information over time.  It is believed that we can accumulate information in three main storage areas that vary according to time frames: sensory, short-term (or working), and long-term.

 

Retrieval is the process of getting information out of memory.  The ability to access and retrieve information from memory allows us to actually use these memories to make decisions, interact with others, and solve problems.

 

 

Three Functions for Storage

Human Memory is divided into three functions for storage:

sensory

short-term (or working) 

long-term

 

Because there is no need for us to remember everything we experience, the different stages of human memory function as a sort of filter.  The first stage is Sensory Memory which holds information coming in through the senses for a period ranging from a fraction of a second to several seconds.  Information is held long enough to process.  It can hold vast amount, but only briefly.  The Sensory memory allows a visual image, a sound, or a touch to linger for a brief moment after the stimulation is over.  That mental image or sensation is then stored in short-term memory. 

Short Term  (now referred to as Working) is the second stage of human memory which holds about seven (5-9) items for less than 30 seconds without rehearsal.  Working memory is the mental workspace we use to keep in mind tasks we are thinking about at any given moment.  Working memory is what we are thinking about or aware of at a certain moment.  It is used to have conversations, solve problems, and remember to complete task. 

Long-Term is the relatively permanent system with a virtually unlimited capacity.

 

Sensory  Holds information coming in through the senses for a period ranging from a fraction of a second to several seconds
Short Term  (STM)Working Memory Holds about seven items for no more than 20 or 30 seconds at a time without rehearsal.
Long-Term  (LTM) Holds information for a long period of time with a virtually unlimited capacity

 

 


Memory flow

 

Sensory

The sensory memory retains an exact copy of what is seen or heard but it only lasts for a few seconds milliseconds after an item is perceived.  It has unlimited capacity, but information is stored very briefly in the sensory area. We attend to only certain aspects of sensory information, allowing some of this information to pass into the next stage which is short-term or working.  Visual sensory memory is called iconic memory, and auditory sensory is called echoic memory.

 

 

Short-term or Working 

Paying attention to sensory memories generates the information in short-term or Working memory.  Selective attention determines what information moves from sensory to short-term.  Short-term or Working memory allows recall for a period of several seconds to a minute without rehearsal.  The capacity of short term is very limited.  It is thought to be about seven bits in length, that is, we normally remember seven items. However, capacity can be increased through a process called chunking.  

STM provides a working space for short computations and then transfers it to other parts of the brain or discards it.  Information lasts up to 30 seconds, but this can also be expanded by maintenance rehearsal.  Researchers have introduced the concept of working memory, a system that holds information while we are thinking.  Rather than being just a temporary information storage system, it is an active system.  Information can be kept in this area while people process or examine it.

The storage in both sensory and working memory generally have a strictly limited capacity and duration, which means that information is available only for a certain period of time, but is not retained indefinitely.  While many of our short-term memories are quickly forgotten, attending to this information allows it to continue on the next stage which is long term.

 

 

Long Term

Long-Term Memory (LTM) is relatively permanent storage.  LTM can store large quantities of information for potentially unlimited duration, and we can efficiently retrieve information from long-term memory.  Unlike sensory and working memory, which are limited and decay rapidly, long-term can store unlimited amounts of information indefinitely.  Information is stored on the basis of meaning and importance.  LTM has been classified into many types of memories, based on the content and purpose of the information.

Information in long-term memory that can be verbally communicated is called declarative or explicit memory. Episodic memory is the retention of information about the where and when of life’s happenings; semantic memory is a person’s knowledge about the world.

 

 

Long term memory chart

 

 

Non-declarative or implicit memory:  subsystem within long-term memory consisting of skills acquired through repetitive practice, habits, and simple classically conditioned responses.  Non-declarative refers to memory in which behavior is affected by prior experience without that experience being consciously recollected.

 

Declarative or explicit memory:  subsystem within long-term memory that stores facts, information and personal life experiences

Episodic:  subpart of declarative memory that contains memories of personally experienced events

Semantic:  subpart of declarative memory that stores general knowledge; our mental encyclopedia/dictionary

 

 

Memory to long term

 

Related Links

Memory

Classification of Memory

Memory Process

Stages of Memory

Types of Memory

Memory Techniques

Causes of Forgetting

Encoding Information into Memory

Paying Attention and Memory

Types of Attention

 

 

 

Author:  James Kelly,  September 2011

 

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