The Memory System

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The Memory System
Memory is a very important aspect in a person’s life. It enables that individual to store information about various things that they can recall upon at a later time when that information is needed. The applications of your memory are boundless and are used every day whether we realize it or not for example taking test, fixing something around the house, playing a sport, etc. We are able to do this by associating that memory with a certain sounds, images, or colors that are familiar to us so it is easily recalled upon. In the following paragraphs I will explain how to trace the memory system from stimuli into long-term memory, explain proactive and retroactive interference, and other kinds of forgetting.

The first thing to consider when tracing the memory system is that it begins with the sensory memory. The sensory memory acts as a buffer form stimuli received through the senses. For each sense there is an assigned sensory memory. For example iconic memory for visual stimuli, echoic memory for hearing stimuli and hepatic memory for touch. This is where the process initiates and then transcends to the short term memory.

Short term memories are those that are only remembered for a few minutes. “Unlike sensory memory, which is stored in the exact form it was experienced, short-term memory has received some processing; thus, "A" is stored not as a visual stimulus, but as an abstract concept of the letter "A". Short-term memory is of limited capacity, usually 5-9 items. Beyond this capacity, new information can "bump" out other items from short-term memory” (Myers, 2006).

Intermediate-term or working memory is sometimes considered a synonym for short-term memory. However, memory researchers often consider this a specialized term referring for information about the current task. Thus, even though a specific phone number may occupy short-term memory, working memory enables you to remember what you are storing that number for (Myers,...
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