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Human Memory

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Autor:   •  October 16, 2011  •  Essay  •  788 Words (4 Pages)  •  3,883 Views

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This paper will identify and give a description of each step in the human memory model. It will discuss the enhancement or impede information flow in each step of the process. It will also explain other kinds of forgetting and strategies that can improve memory consolidation and retrieval. Upon further reading of this paper, you will read an explanation of proactive and retroactive interference and how you might counteract their effects while studying in order to facilitate maximum retention via long-term memory.


The basic memory processes are encoding, which is information that is coded or transformed so it can enter your memory. The second is storage. This stores and consolidates the information over time. And there's retrieval which allows us you get the information when we need it. It's important to know that when talking about encoding, there are three types: Acoustic meaning sounds, visuals meaning images and pictures, and semantic which gives meaning.

The process of the memory model is Sensory Memory, Short Term Memory, and Long Term Memory. Sensory Memory Holds the sensation of a sensory stimulus for a brief period of time after the stimulus ends. (Valdosta, 2011) There are two types of sensory models: Iconic and Echoic. Iconic Holds visual trace for about 1 sec. for instance and eye blink. Echoic holds memory trace for about 2-4 seconds. For example the last few words someone says may echo in your mind.

Sensory Memory acts as buffers for stimuli received through the senses. Information is passed from sensory memory into short-term memory by attention, thereby filtering the stimuli to only those which are of interest at a given time. (Gatech, 2011)

Then there is short term memory it is what you would be currently think about at any given moment. An example of this would be if a mother told her son to take the trash out. He'd memory dump it as soon as the job was done. The encoding is mainly acoustic. Short term memory usually holds limited about of information for a short period of time; about 20-30 seconds. Things such as repetition can increase these amounts of time. (Valdosta, 2011) Here is also where you would find the processing of information. This little section breaks the information into meaningful groups which are then added to the space that does something with the information.

Long Term Memory is where the capacity of storage is unlimited. Here is where the more meaningful memories are permanently stored just how you saw them. An example is a child's first birthday party or the day a child was born. Episodic and semantic memories are stored as schemas which is a cognitive structure that provides a meaning framework


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