Amy McKenzie Winkle
November 7, 2010
Psychology – Mr. Hacker
Week 4 Individual Project
The human memory is a very complex phenomenon. The memory is considered to be a cognitive neuroscience. It is made up of four parts: sensory, short term, working, and long term. Many factors impede or enhance the information flow throughout each step of the process. I will also explain proactive and retroactive interference in this essay. Finally, I will give you some strategies for improving your memory. The memory process begins when the stimuli receives a sensation. The sensation may come from any of the senses such as sight, smell, sound, or texture. This step is known as the sensory memory. Your body is constantly sending many stimuli at one time. Due to this the information is only stored in the sensory memory for .5 to 1 second. Stimuli are filtered in this stage and are discarded. If it is selected for further processing it is passed on while the others are lost and replaced. The sensory memory can either retain few large items or many small items.
Once the information is selected it is passed on to the short term memory, the information can be stored here for a max of 20 seconds. Short term memory has a second stage called the working memory. If the information makes it this far then the person will be conscious or attentive to the message. Sentence comprehension and math problems are processed in the working memory.
The long term memory is the largest part of memory and the information stored there is relatively permanent. This information must be rehearsed or repeated to ensure its storage. There are two types of rehearsal: maintenance and elaborative. Maintenance occurs when an item is stored, used, and discarded. An example would be repeating a name as you walk to the file room to pull the folder out. Once retrieved and the work is complete it is refilled and that name is discarded from the memory. Elaborative...