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What Is Memory? An Introduction to Human Memory

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What Is Memory

Psychological Definition Of Memory

According to Psychology, your (human) memory is a stage of past experiences to be utilized in the present and future. Further, It is an inclusive structural and functional process of collection, comprehension, interpretation, storage, and retrieval of detailed information. 

What we recall?

We can recall what happened in the past regarding something else and elsewhere, interpret, and link that happenings into present circumstances. So this recall and interpretation of past experiences nothing but this is our memory, the sophisticated coalition of complex sensory nerve signals in each cerebral hemisphere’s primary cortex.

What Are The Stages Of Memory Development?

Memory is your brain’s aptitude to encode and store the information and retrieve it whenever one need it.

Moreover, Your brain develops your storage by interlinking three stages:

  1. ENCODING
  2. STORING
  3. RETRIEVING

What Are The Types Of Memory?

It is an umbrella term that encompasses three broad types. Following are the types and subtypes of memory.

  1. SENSORY MEMORY

This storage lasts no longer than a fraction of a second. The human brain perceives three types of sensory stimuli to encode and store them in sensory memory.

Exteroceptive stimuli ( iconic, echoic, olfactory, and haptic)

Interoceptive stimuli are purely linked with nociception

Proprioceptive stimuli are based on muscles and joints movements.

  1. SHORT-TERM MEMORY 

Sensory memory, necessarily, is transform and store in the form of short-term storage after focused attention, recurrent recall, and rehearsal, and then unimportant information goes into vain; or lasts no longer than fractions of a second. It is only viable for less than a minute.

  1. LONG-TERM MEMORY

This is your lifetime, which may persist for more than a year ago. After a brief period of encoding and consolidation, the most valuable and significant information is processed into long-term memory formation and stored for future retrieval as per need. Additionally, Long term is divided into two categories as explicit and implicit memory.

  1. EXPLICIT /DECLARATIVE MEMORY

The information that falls into your conscious level of understanding is termed explicit or declarative, further sub categorized into episodic and semantic memory.

  • EPISODIC MEMORY 

The information regarding events and experiences that you have gone through is stored in the episodic memory form for retrieval when needed.

  • SEMANTIC MEMORY

When encoded, the short-term memory of facts, figures, and concepts is transformed into the semantic form.

  1. IMPLICIT / PROCEDURAL MEMORY

The information regarding skills and tasks that falls into the category of your unconscious or pre-conscious level will be then encoded and stored into the implicit or procedural form.

What Type Of Memory Do We Consciously Try To Remember And Recall?

The information regarding past events and experiences that is most close to someone’s heart and facts and concepts that one considers as most important and valuable are the type of memories that the human brain tries to remember and recall consciously.

Which Part Of Human Brain Is Involved In Creating Different Memory Forms?

Each kind of memory is processed into specific areas of your brain. Whereas, Sensory information is collected and processed with the Primary cortex, and Short-term memory is one of the significant components of human, which is interpreted and stored into the “Prefrontal Cortex.” Short-term memory is generally fade out in less than one minute, but rehearsal and revision encode it into the long-term memory and switch it towards the “Hippocampus.” The hippocampus then stores this information for an extended period. Therefore, Hippocampus is the prominent spot in the brain that processes long-term.

Why Do You Forget Things And Why Is Human Recall So Bad?

 How good or bad your memory is? It further depends upon several factors and circumstances that you are going through. Also, this is not true all the time and not applicable for all types of memory

 If you do not have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or any other cognitive disability, you can forget things generally due to many reasons, which are as follows.

  • Ageing
  • Lack of focused attention
  • Inadequate rehearsal 
  • Lack of concentration
  • Psychologically ill behaviour (depression, anxiety, also stress)
  • Alcoholism

What Are The Normal Memory Problems That Anybody Can Have?

 Studies concluded that seven types of memory problems exist that anybody can generally have.

Absent-Mindedness

It tends to forget things if you have not paid close attention to the details of acquired information.

Bias

What you recall can not be the actual picture of reality. Your thoughts, occurrences, circumstances, and experiences undoubtedly affect your retrieve information. 

Blocking

It is a communication barrier that temporarily makes you incapable of retrieve or recalls even the most recent facts and events. Hence, blocking becomes more habitual and persistent with age.

Misattribution

 When you can recall a specific type of information but missing orientation (time, place, or person) related to it. 

Persistence  

 It is the exact and life long retrieval of traumatic and horrifying facts and events that you want to forget but remain persist in your consciousness.

Susceptibility

      It is when your recalled information lacks the power of suggestion. 

Transience

 It is the probability of forgetting facts on the spot or facts over time. 

Examples Of A Mnemonic Device

One might think of the instrument by hearing of the term mnemonic device, but mnemonic devices are specialized memorizing techniques that help you to improve your ability to remember things for an extended period.

  • ACRONYMS
  • CHUNKING AND ORGANIZATION
  • IMAGERY
  • METHOD OF LOCI
  • RHYMES

Conclusion

You cannot even think about it; how and when your brain comes across many facts and events and consolidates them into your memory storage daily, but some tasks need rehearsal for retrieval in the future. Forgetfulness is another topic of discussion but closely related to how your recall works? And are you going through a physical barrier that keeps you to forget things even of fundamental importance at the time and on the spot?

 If you feel your memory storage is weakening day-by-day and other cognitive difficulties even after paying close attention and doing rehearsal, immediately consult your healthcare practitioner, and do not forget to share your memories concerning experiences by scrolling down to the comment section. 

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