brain is remarkable and for hundreds of years we have known very little about
it such as, how it works, its limitations, can it be improved through science. More
recent research has shed light on the complicated subject that is the human
brain. But there is one function that the brain carries out that is very
important. Its ability to store information for later retrieval. Without this
ability we wouldn’t be one of the most dominant species on the planet let alone
survive due to the inability to recognize the most basic threats in a given environment.
This ability can be referred to as memory. But what exactly is memory? And what
are its primary functions.
three stages in the process in which information is stored sensory stage,
short-term and long-term memory. Information is registered when we perceive our
environment in a brief stage that uses sensory memory this stage only lasts a
fraction of a second and allow perception of visual patterns, sound, and touch
to occur even if the stimulant that triggered this cycle has already gone away,
this is then stored in short-term memory, which has a very limited capacity. In
short-term memory only about seven item can be stored for about 20 to 30
seconds this can of course be increased by various memorization strategies such
as chunking information. This means separating information into smaller chunks
like a cellphone number. For example take the number 3457307091 if chunked into
information will gradually be transferred to long-term memory from short-term
memory where it will be retained indefinitely unlike sensory and short-term
memory. Additionally if information is repeated or more frequently used it is
more likely to transition from s hort-term
to long-term memory.
one knows on a subject can contribute to how easy it is for information to be
stored. This is because the incoming information can be connected to past
information that has already been stored in long-term memory.
the greatest contributors to our wealth of knowledge regarding the brain is the
digital computer, which provides a great analogy to use when it comes to
understanding the mind. The computer and the mind have many similarities that
make the computer a good model such as the different types of memory the
digital computer uses RAM (Random Access Memory) and ROM (Read only Memory).
RAM acts as a computers “working memory” and is temporary like short-term
memory, and ROM works like long-term memory storing information permanently only
to be read, additionally some software can update thus simulating the learning
that has already been stored to long-term memory in a certain framework or
schema that are designed to help organize information similarly to how folders
work on a digital computer. Schema can also be described as a sort of “file
directory” as it’s the path your brain takes to retrieve information. More importantly
schema focus on pre-existing concepts only.
form over time and the more you recall information the easier and easier it
becomes to call on that information later, but can pre-existing schema hinder
the formation of new schema such as a young child mistaking a dog for a wolf.