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THE FUNCTIONS OF MEMORY

Memory is the ability to remember past events, images, ideas, or previously learned information or skills. Memory is also the storage system that allows a person to retain and retrieve previously learned information.

There are three key processes to memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval. Each of the three stages in memory-sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory focuses on encoding, storage, and retrieval.

Sensory memory performs initial encoding and provides brief storage. Semsory memory can change a visual, auditory, or chemical stimulus into a form the brain can interpret, like a photograph. Sensory memory is temporary. Once information is received, it is transferred for additional encoding and storage. Unless you quickly

transfer it to short-term memory by writing it down or repeating it, you will forget it.

Short-term memory is the storage system that temporarily holds current or recent information for immediate or short-term use. Short-term memory must further encode, store or maintain information for thirty seconds. A person may want to rememjber certain details of information. Repeatedly verbalizing and thinking about it, will keep

that information in memory. Information contained in short-term memory is available for less than twenty and no more than thirty seconds. It must be transferred to long-term memory, or it will be lost.

Long term-memory is the storage system tha keeps a permanent record of information. Information such as names, dates, places, events, and smells can be found in long-term memory. Information that is important is immediatly stored inot long-term

memory. Birthday’s, your telephone number is maintained in long-term memory. We have the ability to remember real-world events, even though they happened many years ago. The capacity for long-term memory is infinite. The more information a person acquires, the easier it is to acquire information. Long-term memory may preserve information for a lifetime with its focus on retrieval.


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