MEMORY | WHAT IS MEMORY | PROCESS OF MEMORY

What is Memory? Memory is the mental capacity to store, recall or recognize the events that were obtained. The previously term experienced. “Remembering” The is a term used memory to mean also refers either to retaining what is experiences or recalling them. Most cognitive psychologists define memory as a perceptually active mental system that receives, encodes, modifies and retrieves information. Behaviour start focuses only on stimulus input and response output and neglect what happens between these two. Actually, the associations formed between stimulus events and responses are themselves units of memory. An organism without a capacity for memory is not able to profit from experience or training. Without memory, we would not know how to shut off the alarm, take a shower, get dressed or recognize objects. We would be unable to communicate with other people because we would not remember what the meanings of words are, or even what we have just said. We would be unaware of our own likes and dislikes (Vorauer and Ross, 1993). And we would have no idea of who we were in any meaningful sense. (Kihlstrom 1993) selective Perception Memory is not like a photo album or documentary film because memories are not exact copies of our experiences. Bjork and Vanhuele (1992) describe that memory is selective like perception. People retain a great deal of information; they also lose a great deal.  Memory is initially tied to many other aspects of psychology. All learning implies memory. If we remembered nothing from our experiences, we could learn nothing. Life would consist of momentary experiences that had little relations to one another. Importance Without memory we could not even reflect upon ourselves. In short, when we think of what it means to be human, we must acknowledge the centrality of memory. Our memory is the library of our personal history. Our memories form a living our life record so of far, what but we they have been heard, much read more. and Memories experienced help over us the to period define of ourselves, connect our present thoughts and actions to the roots of our past and prepare for a meaningful future. What we remember is influenced by many factors, some operating at the time of an original event, others operating during storage, still others operating at the time of recall. Even vivid memories may be disturbed by what really happened in the past. They can be a blend of past reality with expectations, fantasy and social desirability. Memories can be affected by physical health, attention, emotion, prejudice and many other conditions.

MEMORY PROCESS

Zimbardo, Atkinson and Hilgard (1987), explain that memory requires three mental processes that are;
Encoding ——  Storage —— Retrieval
These are also known as three stages of memory.

ENCODING

To deposit something into memory is called encoding. Encoding is the translation of incoming stimulus energy into a unique neural code that our brain can process. The encoding process involves acquiring information and then repeating it in the mind. Attention Encoding requires that we first attend to some selected stimulus,  even from the huge amount, and then we must identify the distinctive features of that experienced event. The event may be a sound, a visual image or a smell. If it is a sound, is it loud, soft or harsh? Does it fit into some patterns with our sounds to form a name, a melody, cry or laughter? Have we heard it earlier? During encoding we try to tag our experiences with a variety of labels, some are specific or unique while others put the event into a general category or class. The same process is done with visual image or smell Automatic.This encoding process is usually so automatic and rapid that we remain unaware while doing it. So encoding requires information must be put into memory, must be coded so that it can be communicated to the brain Information must be put in a form that the memory system can accept and use. Various Codes in the memory system, sensory information is put into various memory codes, which are mental representations of physical stimuli.For example, acoustic codes represent information as a sequence of sounds. Visual codes represent stimuli as pictures. Semantic codes represent an experience by its general meaning.
Encoding process relates the new input to other things or informati0n that we already know, for which it might later prove relevant. You might be wondering about the encoding process but isn’t it amazing that you are already doing it for long.

STORAGE

It is the second basic memory process. Storage is the retention of encoded material over time. It simply means maintaining information forever. Episodic, semantic and procedural memories can all be stored for a very long time. When we recall prize distribution ceremony of our high school, we are depending on the storage capacity of our memory. Duration many psychologists believe that stored information is held forever in memory. Not all information is retained, some of it is lost. Encoded information tends to be lost when it cannot be stored in terms of already stored information. The more often some bit of information is rehearsed or practised the more likely it is to be retained. Storage Process Researchers are uncovering the neurophysiologic changes in certain synapses and other biochemical processes that are associated with information storage. Like libraries, minds must rely upon proper encoding and systematic storage to be useful. When we read “for fun” we make no special effort to organize the ideas for later retrieval. But same cannot be done with the text material.

RETRIEVAL

The process retrieval occurs when we find information stored in memory and bring it into consciousness. Retrieving stored information is usually so fast and effortless, it seems automatic. Retrieval is the pay off for all our earlier effort when it works, it leads us to gain access to information we stored earlier. Retrieval is the third stage of memory. In some senses, it is the most important. We cannot say whether someone has really remembered something unless he retrieves that information. There seem to be different types of retrieval as Ebbinghaus identified four different forms of retrieval. The strongest of them was recalled; when an individual can remember the information without prompting. He identified recognition as a second and reconstruction as a third form. The fourth and the weakest form is relearning. Another way of looking at retrieval is to look at what happens when it fails. Theories about why people forget often contain an implicit explanation for why people remember. And many of the theories of forgetting are actually about why we do not retrieve information when we want to do so. There is a continuing interplay between what we perceive and what we remember. This interaction among encoding, storage and retrieval is complex. The disturbances that occur during any one of them will affect what is remembered.