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Types of Memory - Review of The Decade

Human memory includes the ability to retrieve and preserve the information we have learned or experienced. This is not a flawless process because sometimes we forget things, or don't encode the things in memory in a proper way.

Asees Kaur General 21 Jun 2020
Types of Memory
2 Years Ago 694 Reads 4 min read

Memory means the process that is used to acquire, store, and later retrieve information. This consists of three major processes: encoding, storage, and retrieval.

Human memory includes the ability to retrieve and preserve the information we have learned or experienced. This is not a flawless process because sometimes we forget things, or don't encode the things in memory in a proper way.

To create new memories, the information must be transformed into a usable form, through a process called encoding. It is stored in memory for later use after it is successfully encoded. Most of this stored memory is outside of our awareness at times, except when we behave. The retrieval process allows us to bring memories stored in accumulated awareness.

Types of human memory:

A girl standing in sunset

There are many different models of memory that have been proposed, but stage models of memory are often used to explain the basic structure and function of memory. 

Short-term human memory

Short-term memory is also known as active memory and it only lasts 20 to 30 seconds. It is the information that we currently know or think about. This is also called working memory because that is more specific to the information we receive, use quickly, then discard.

For example, a person's name, a phone number, or what you are about to buy from the market is stored in your short-term working memory, as long as it takes you time to use it.

Long-term human memory

Long-term memory consists of a wide range of memories and experiences. Our long-term memories are slightly more complex than our short-term memories. This information is outside our awareness but it can be recalled when it is needed. Some memories are easy to remember, while other memories are very difficult to access. 

These memories don't remain intact in a single part of the brain. Instead, the process of creating and storing long-term memories is spread in multiple fields. Explicit and Implicit human Memories are the two types of Long-term memory.

Explicit Human Memory

The name of a childhood dog or the best friend's house phone number can be an example of explicit memory. The following are the types of explicit memories.

  1. Episodic Memory: These memories occur from events or autobiographical facts. Remembering an election, personal facts, and events from childhood are examples of episodic memory.
  2. Semantic Memory: Semantic memories occur from the facts or events that have not been experienced but only studied. These are the general knowledge of the world. For example, the fact that the sun rises in the east, and the sky is blue.

Implicit Human Memory

Implicit memories are the memories about which people are not conscious and these affect a person's behavior. Speaking a language and riding a bike are examples of implicit memory.

Procedural Human Memory: Procedural memory is a type of memory that allows a person to perform tasks without thinking about them. In addition to riding a bike, this includes brushing our teeth, tying a shoe, or driving a car.

Losing Human Memory

Losing memory means unusual forgetfulness in which a person is not able to recall the memories of the past and don't remember new events. 

The reasons for the occurrence of forgetting are the following:

  1. Interference
  2. Failure to store
  3. Retrieval failure
  4. Motivated forgetting

Echoic Human Memory

Echoic memory is a type of memory that holds a large amount of information but only for 3-4 seconds. this is repeated in the brain for a brief time immediately after the presentation of the auditory stimulus.

Haptic Human Memory

Haptic memory is a type of memory that is related to the sense of touch and this type of memory is used when the forces required to interact with familiar objects.  It is used by the sense of touch and begins to ruin after about two seconds. 

Final Words:

Finally, I can say that researchers are still trying to understand human memory because it is a complex process. Although our memories try to make us yet it is not a perfect process. There is no doubt that we remember surprising amounts of information, but we also make mistakes and errors.

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