There are certain things which are absolutely wonderful creations of nature. Although technology is developing more and more, it could not compete with the nature’s creativity. Still nature is on top of the all creators. Among the all unrivaled stuffs, memory is a marvelous product by nature. Have you ever thought about our memory or its unique features?
What is memory? It is not a tangible thing which can store things. Currently you are doing things, past incidents and your future plans are saved in memory. To have a memory, we should have a brain. When events happen in our life it senses to brain whether it should be stored or not. If your brain judges the information important, it places in your memory ‘files’. Memory makes us. Memory is essential to all our lives. If we couldn’t recall who, what, where, and when during our everyday lives, we would never be able to manage. We would not be able to remember what we did yesterday, what we have done today or what we plan to do tomorrow.
Memory is involved in processing vast amounts of information. This information takes many different forms. It can be images, sounds or meaning. For psychologists the term memory covers three important aspects of information processing. Those three aspects are encoded, storage and retrieval.
What is encoding? Encoding is something like this. When the information comes to our mind, it should be converted into a thing which memory can understand and manipulate. For the more clarification we can say like this. When you travel from one country to another changing your money into a different currency is like encoding. There are three main ways in which information can be encoded. Visual (picture), Acoustic (sound) and Semantic (meaning) are those three ways.
What is storage? This concerns the nature of memory stores. For example, Where the information is stored, how long the memory lasts for (duration), how much can be stored at any time (capacity) and what kind of information is held. Most adults can store between five and nine items in their Short Term Memory (STM). Miller (1956) put this idea forward and he called it the magic number seven. He though that STM capacity was seven (plus or minus two) items because it only had a certain number of ‘slots’ in which items could be stored. However, Miller didn’t specify the amount of information that can be held in each slot. Indeed, if we can ‘chunk’ information together we can store a lot more information in our STM. In contrast the capacity of long term memory is thought to be unlimited.
Information can only be stored for a brief duration in STM among 0 to 30 seconds, but LTM can last a lifetime. We mull over ideas in the present with our short term (or working) memory, while we store past events and learned meanings in our long term (episodic or semantic) memory.
Third aspect of the row is retrieval. What is retrieval in the memory? It means that getting stored things out. When you lose to remember something, it may be because we are unable to retrieve it. STM is stored and retrieved sequentially. STM is stored and retrieved sequentially. For example, if a group of participants are given a list of words to remember, and then asked to recall the fourth word on the list, participants go through the list in the order they heard it in order to retrieve the information. LTM is stored and retrieved by association. This is why you can remember what you went upstairs for if you go back to the room where you first thought about it.
These are the main things about memory. We will meet you next week with more and interesting information about memory furthermore.