The Pros And Cons Of Human Memory

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Memory is an essential parts to all our lives. Without a memory of the past, we could not engage in the present or think to the future. We would not be able to remember what we did the previous day, what we have done today or what we plan on doing tomorrow. Without memory, we could not learn anything.Memory is involved in processing extensive amounts of information that we are exposed to on a daily basis (McLeod). Memory also gives us the capability to participate and determine settings from experiences we have previously been a part of. It is the means by which we remember our past experiences, previously learned facts, impressions, skills and habits. Memory stores from what we have learned from experience, then it will recall the memory …show more content…
It is comparable to that of the human memory system--though the memory of a human being is far greater than that of a simple computer. Our memory system is composed of a network where information is distributed throughout our brain cells. Those brain cells will make thousands of connections with the information they are given. That compared to the computer’s information stored in discrete files. It is a crucial part of us that makes us truly human, and yet it is one of the most elusive and misunderstood of human attributes.The brain is able to build, create, and imagine because of our memory system. It brings in information, stores it, retrieves it, then disposes of the information when it is no longer useful(Mastin).
Memory begins with our senses. Sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch are the base for the memories that we have. It 's easy to think of our memory being like a mental filing cabinet, depositing away chunks of information until we need them. The most common analogy we see of the brain is that of a computer. New bits of information are written in a particular location, and stored in the hard drive. For a better example, encoding of a memory is like hitting save on a computer file. Once the file is saved, it can be retrieved as long as the hard drive remains
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The process of forming a memory begins with attention. The Thalamus and the frontal lobe of our brain are in charge of holding the attention coming from our senses.When a signal is sent neurons fire more frequently creating a stronger bond of that signal in our memory. When emotions are involved our attention is increased to the details of the new memory. The emotional moment is processed on an unconscious pathway to the Amygdala, there the event is processed.
There are three main ways in which information can be encoded: (McLeod pa.5)
1. Visual (picture) is the process of encoding images and visual sensory information. Visual sensory information is temporarily stored within the iconic memory before being encoded into a long-term storage memory. Richard Mayer, a psychology researcher at UCSB said, “Text paired with a relevant visual significantly improves the amount of information retained by novice learners.”
2. Acoustic (sound) is the processing and encoding of sound, words and other auditory input for storage and later retrieval.
3. Semantic (meaning) is the process of encoding sensory input that has particular meaning or can be applied to a particular context, rather than deriving from a particular sense. Long-term memory is more reliant on this form of encoding than any other

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