The memory storing the information and retrieving it back. It is primarily classified into two types: short-term memory and long-term memory. Short term memory is used for quick processing and manipulation of information. It only lasts up to a minute and anything longer than that is termed as long-term memory. Short term memory is effective but not always accurate. It can sometimes get rid of the information before actually working on it. On the other hand, long-term memory can stay in the mind for a few days, a few months, or even a lifetime.
This kind of memory does not need any rehearsal and is retrieved in the mind only for a brief period (20 to 30 seconds). Some of the data can be stored in the mind for a minute but most of it perishes quite rapidly. One common example of short-term memory is when a person remembers a contact number. When someone gives another person a phone number, the other person can remember it mentally for a short period but after that, he/she no longer remembers it. Without revising the number continuously and repeating it again and again, the number gets easily lost from the mind. This is known as short term memory. It has often been stated that people can store about five to nine items in short-term memory. This figure was given by a psychologist named George Miller.
Short term memory stores the information which first comes to the mind. This information on being used repeatedly eventually ends up in long-term memory. This can be done in a few ways. One such strategy is repeating the information again and again which can keep resetting the memory clock and one can easily remember the information for a comparatively longer period. This approach is usually used when there is an exam. Instead of just reading the notes once, people tend to thoroughly revise the notes over and over again until the information is etched into the mind. Another strategy could be dividing the information into small chunks or slots which may help in remembering the information for a longer period.
Long term memory stores the data in the mind for a longer time. This type of memory hardly gets decayed and can be recalled easily than short-term memory. In general, people prefer to store information that has a meaning to them or that can be psychologically linked for a longer time to similar information. At times, the mind does not know about the data which is stored in long-term memory, but it can be easily retrieved and that too accurately if any circumstance occurs in which that knowledge is needed. For example, bicycle riding skills are learned in childhood. Some people generally think that they may not remember how to ride a bicycle in their adult life but when they try, it may come out quite naturally.
Important things to know about long-term memory-
â€¢ Long-term memories are not stored permanently in the same state. Memories are prone to change, disruption, and also misinformation.
â€¢ Previously it was assumed that only the cerebral cortex stores long-term information. It is now proven that other brain parts also store them.
â€¢ The duration of long-term memory can vary as per the factor of memory recall. If the information is repeated, again and again, the memory becomes strengthened. Also, if someone pays attention to information and focus on it, it stays in the brain for a relatively long time.
Long term memory is divided into two types: Explicit Memory and Implicit Memory
1. Explicit Memory- It is the memory that is available in consciousness. It is also called declarative memory. It is divided into episodic memory and semantic memory.
â€¢ Episodic memory deals with the memory of specific events that have happened in a personâ€™s life. For example, the name of the city a person belongs to.
â€¢ Semantic memory stores factual information, it includes knowledge about the world. For example, information about the solar system or information about the capitals of the states is stored in the form of semantic memory
2. Implicit Memory- It is the memory that is not conscious. This memory is the opposite of declarative memory and it primarily includes procedural memory.
â€¢ Procedural memory is the memory of knowing how to do things. It involves the memory of body movement. For example, driving a car or riding a bicycle
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